Sanctuary cities across the United States are responding to President Donald Trump’s threat to bus border crossers and illegal aliens to their jurisdictions, saying they plan to welcome all illegal immigration with “open arms” despite soaring homelessness problems.
Last week, Trump threatened to bus border crossers and illegal aliens into sanctuary cities and states, like California and New York City, if the country’s asylum laws were not changed. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Sunday confirmed that the White House is considering the plan.
“The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities,” Trump posted on Twitter over the weekend. “We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or it’s poor management & high taxes!”
Sanctuary city mayors like Oakland, California, Mayor Libby Schaaf have responded to Trump’s threat by saying they plan to welcome any and all illegal aliens to their cities — even those cities that are struggling with rising homelessness. Currently, there are nearly 38,000 homeless American veterans across the country.
“Oakland welcomes all, no matter where you came from or how you got here,” Schaaf wrote on Twitter.
As of 2017, there were more than 2,700 Oakland residents who were homeless — an increase of 25 percent when compared to two years before. In all of Alameda County, there are about 5,630 homeless residents. In all of California, there are nearly 130,000 homeless residents, including nearly 11,000 homeless American Veterans.
Sanctuary city New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio originally blasted Trump for the plan, claiming the president was using illegal aliens as “chess pieces,” but he then advocated for giving illegal aliens driver’s licenses in order to attract more illegal aliens to the state.
“Undocumented immigrants are our neighbors and part of the backbone of our economy,” de Blasio wrote online. “It’s mind-boggling that they aren’t allowed to have driver’s licenses in New York State.”
New York City homelessness has reached the highest levels since the 1930s when the country struggled through the Great Depression. Today, there are nearly 64,000 homeless residents in New York City, including more than 15,000 homeless families with almost 23,000 homeless children. This is the largest metro area homeless population in the country. There are more than 1,200 homeless American veterans living in New York state.
In interviews with the Daily Beast, sanctuary city mayors from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; and Cambridge, Massachusetts, said their jurisdictions would be happy to welcome all illegal aliens.
Philadelphia, Chicago, and Cambridge have a combined homeless population of at least 12,000 residents. In the state of Massachusetts, alone, there are now more than 20,000 homeless residents, including almost 1,000 homeless American veterans.
“The city would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.
“As a welcoming city, 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,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
Burlington, Vermont, Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a statement that illegal aliens were vital to making his city “more prosperous” and “more diverse.”
“We know from decades of experience that newcomers to Burlington will make us more prosperous, more diverse and stronger, just as generations of past immigrants have driven our past growth and success,” Weinberger said.
In total, there are more than 550,000 American residents who are homeless nationwide. Meanwhile, the U.S. admits more than 1.5 million illegal and legal immigrants every year — the overwhelming majority of which are low skilled workers who compete for jobs against America’s poor, working, and middle class. The Washington, DC-imposed mass immigration policy drives housing costs up for Americans, economists have found.