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

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerKlobuchar on impeachment: 'I'm the jury' Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment Pelosi downplays impeachment post-Mueller report MORE (D-N.Y.) excoriated President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers 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 NielsenTrump moves to crack down on visa overstays Overnight Energy: Mueller report reveals Russian efforts to sow division over coal jobs | NYC passes sweeping climate bill likened to 'Green New Deal' | EPA official says agency may ban asbestos | Energy Dept. denies Perry planning exit The Hill's 12:30 Report: Inside the Mueller report 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Julián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Swalwell on impeachment: 'We're on that road' after Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) said Friday.

“If it’s true, it is very unfortunate and to be condemned,” House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment Democrats leave impeachment on the table 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.