Nadler on new Trump 'sanctuary cities' plan: 'morally repugnant and probably illegal'

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Nadler's House committee holds a faux hearing in search of a false crime Lewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media MORE (D-N.Y.) excoriated President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE over his proposal to send detained immigrants to “sanctuary cities” as a way to retaliate against Democrats, saying the move was immoral and likely illegal.

Though reports surfaced Thursday evening of White House officials dismissing the proposal, Trump confirmed Friday that the plan was indeed being considered.

The move comes as the president signals he is doubling down on his hard-line tendencies on immigration, most recently overseeing changes at the Department of Homeland Security that forced the departure of many of the agency’s upper echelon, including Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenKirstjen Nielsen drops out of Atlantic Media event after liberal backlash Pence taps former DHS spokeswoman as his new press secretary DHS officials called lawmaker visit to migrant detention facility a 'Hill stunt' MORE.

Top Democratic lawmakers have torched Trump over the "sanctuary city" proposal. Such cities are those that do not cooperate with federal immigration authors through information-sharing or detaining immigrants.

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“I don’t know anything about it, but again, it’s just another notion that is unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges that we face as a county, as a people, to address who we are: a nation of immigrants,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden blasts Trump, demands he release transcript of call with foreign leader Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week MORE (D-Calif.) said Friday.

“If it’s true, it is very unfortunate and to be condemned,” House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrat accuses GOP of opposing DC statehood because of 'race and partisanship' News outlets choose their darlings, ignore others' voices Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (D-Md.) echoed. “That you could use ICE — or any other federal agency — to penalize or to visit retribution for political reasons, that's not the act of a democratic government.” 

The Washington Post reported this week that acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Matthew Albence, then the acting deputy director of the agency, rejected a similar proposal in November. Department of Homeland Security officials also reportedly shut down the idea again in February.