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Trump Considers Sending Detained Illegal Migrants to Sanctuary Cities

Trump made the announcement hours after White House and Homeland Security officials insisted the idea had been rejected

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FILE - President Donald Trump speaks about sanctuary cities with law enforcement officers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, March 20, 2018. On April 12, 2019, Trump said he was considering sending detained illegal migrants to sanctuary cities. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that he was considering sending detained illegal migrants to so-called sanctuary cities, which oppose his tough immigration policies.

Trump made the announcement hours after White House and Homeland Security officials insisted the idea had been rejected.

He told reporters at the White House that his administration was “strongly looking at the possibly.”

Earlier Friday, he tweeted, “Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities.”

“The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy — so this should make them very happy!” he added.

Sanctuary cities are local jurisdictions — often run by Democrats — that have refused to hand over illegal immigrants to federal authorities for possible deportation.

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FILE – In this June 20, 2018, photo, protesters demonstrate outside the federal courthouse in Sacramento, Calif., where a judge heard arguments over the U.S. Justice Department’s request to block three California laws that extend protections to people in the country illegally. Sacramento is a sanctuary city. VOA

Offer of pardon?

In another development Friday, CNN reported that Trump told the head of Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan, that he would pardon him if he were sent to jail for denying U.S. entry to migrants. CNN cited two unnamed officials who said Trump made the offer during a visit to the border town of Calexico, California.

Trump has since named McAleenan the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, following the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen.

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement Friday: “At no time has the president indicated, asked, directed or pressured the acting secretary to do anything illegal. Nor would the Acting Secretary take actions that are not in accordance with our responsibility to enforce the law.”

Sending a message

The White House proposal to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities was first reported by The Washington Post.

According to the Post, the White House told Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the plan would alleviate a shortage of detention space, as well as send a message to Democrats.

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FILE – Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks during a news conference in Philadelphia, Nov. 15, 2017. VOA

The Post said a White House official and a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said the proposal was no longer under consideration.

Revelation of the proposal drew criticism from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as other Democrats.

In remarks to reporters Friday, Pelosi called the idea “unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges that we face as a country, as a people, to address who we are — a nation of immigrants.”

Pelosi’s hometown of San Francisco is a sanctuary city. Mayors of several sanctuary cities said Friday they would accept undocumented migrants.

ALSO READ: Wall on New York’s Ellis Island Honors Immigrants is Almost Full

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement, “While the Trump administration’s proposal shows their disdain to basic human dignity, the City (Philadelphia) would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “We would welcome these migrants with open arms, just as we welcomed Syrian refugees, just as we welcomed Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria and just as we welcome Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar.” (VOA)

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Trump Administration to Revoke California’s Authority to Set Auto Mileage Standards

The Trump administration is poised to revoke California's authority to set auto mileage standards, asserting

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FILE - Automobile traffic flows over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. California's long struggles with smog mean the state has been setting its own mileage standards since before the 1970 Clean Air Act was written. VOA

The Trump administration is poised to revoke California’s authority to set auto mileage standards, asserting that only the federal government has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy.

Conservative and free-market groups have been asked to attend a formal announcement of the rollback set for Wednesday afternoon at Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington.

Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said Tuesday that her group was among those invited to the event featuring EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

The move comes after the Justice Department recently opened an antitrust investigation into a deal between California and four automakers for tougher pollution and related mileage requirements than those sought by President Donald Trump. Trump also has sought to relax Obama-era federal mileage standards nationwide, weakening a key effort by his Democratic predecessor to slow climate change.

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks at a news conference in Washington, Sept. 12, 2019. VOA

Top California officials and environmental groups pledged legal action to stop the rollback.

The White House declined to comment Tuesday, referring questions to EPA. EPA’s press office did not respond to a phone message and email seeking comment.

But EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told the National Automobile Dealers Association on Tuesday that the Trump administration would move “in the very near future” to take steps toward establishing one nationwide set of fuel-economy standards.

“We embrace federalism and the role of the states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the nation,” he said, adding that higher fuel economy standards would hurt consumers by increasing the average sticker price of new cars and requiring automakers to produce more electric vehicles.

Also Read- Lack of Sleep Alters Fat Metabolism, Says Study

Word of the pending announcement came as Trump traveled to California on Tuesday for an overnight trip that includes GOP fundraising events near San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

California’s authority to set its own, tougher emissions standards goes back to a waiver issued by Congress during passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970. The state has long pushed automakers to adopt more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles that emit less pollution. A dozen states and the District of Columbia also follow California’s fuel economy standards.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Tuesday that the Trump administration’s action will hurt both U.S. automakers and American families. He said California would fight the administration in federal court.

“You have no basis and no authority to pull this waiver,” Becerra, a Democrat, said in a statement, referring to Trump. “We’re ready to fight for a future that you seem unable to comprehend.”

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FILE – California Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses a news conference in Sacramento, July 23, 2019. VOA

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the White House “has abdicated its responsibility to the rest of the world on cutting emissions and fighting global warming.”

“California won’t ever wait for permission from Washington to protect the health and safety of children and families,” said Newsom, a Democrat.

The deal struck in July between California and four of the world’s largest automakers — Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen — bypassed the Trump administration’s plan to freeze emissions and fuel economy standards adopted under Obama at 2021 levels.

The four automakers agreed with California to reduce emissions by 3.7% per year starting with the 2022 model year, through 2026. That compares with 4.7% yearly reductions through 2025 under the Obama standards. Emissions standards are closely linked with fuel economy requirements because vehicles pollute less if they burn fewer gallons of fuel.

Also Read- Festival Sales by Amazon, Flipkart Violating FDI Norms

The U.S. transportation sector is the nation’s biggest single source of planet-warming greenhouse gasses.

Wheeler said Tuesday: “California will be able to keep in place and enforce programs to address smog and other forms of air pollution caused by motor vehicles.” But fuel economy has been one of the key regulatory tools the state has used to reduce harmful emissions.

Environmentalists condemned the Trump administration’s expected announcement, which comes as gasoline prices have crept higher following a weekend drone attack that hobbled Saudi Arabian oil output.

“Everyone wins when we adopt strong clean car standards as our public policy,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. “Strong clean car standards give us healthier air to breathe, help protect us from the urgent threat of climate change and save Americans hundreds of dollars a year in gas expenses.” (VOA)