SNL Mocks Trump's Threat to Sanctuary Cities
As President Donald Trump threatens to make good on his pledge to send migrants detained at the border to so-called "sanctuary cities," the people at Saturday Night Live mocked the president's plan.
During a segment on SNL's "Weekend Update," co-anchor Michael Che roasted the White House for thinking it was teaching sanctuary cities a lesson by relocating migrants from the border.
"President Trump is considering releasing detained immigrants into sanctuary cities to send a message to Democrats. What's the message: 'Have some more voters'?" He asked. "Yeah man, that'll show 'em. I don't know how they're gonna handle a bunch of immigrants in a city like... New York."
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, foreign-born residents already make up in excess of 37 percent of New York City's population of 8.6 million.
"You can't scare us with more immigrants; that just means faster Ubers and more Elmos," added Che, jokingly referring to people who make money in New York City tourist areas by dressing up as the Sesame Street character and posing for photos.
Che concluded the piece with a more direct hit at Trump.
"Or, maybe he should send immigrants to New York. I know a huge building on Fifth Avenue where nobody wants to live anymore," he noted, showing a photo of Trump Tower.
The Washington Post first reported last Thursday that Trump White House officials had twice attempted to pressure Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into relocating detained migrants from the border to sanctuary cities — cities where the local government has policies of not automatically turning over illegal migrants to federal authorities for deportation — but that ICE had rejected the concept as inappopriate.
In response to the Post story, a White House statement claimed it was "just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion," but Trump almost immediately undercut that statement on Friday, tweeting "we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities."
The president reiterated that point Saturday evening with another tweet, declaring, "The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities. We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!"
Appearing on Fox News last night, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said the administration is already moving forward with the president's plan to relocate the migrants.
"We're working with DHS, we're working with ICE, to try and make sure that happens because after all, it's what they want. They should not say 'This is retribution politically,' they should say, 'This is an olive branch,'" he told host Jeanine Pirro.
Lori Lightfoot, the mayor-elect of Chicago, a sanctuary city, said Friday that she would welcome the migrants.
“We have people who are routinely coming to this city. We have a whole infrastructure that’s built up to make sure that their rights are protected while the city of Chicago has, under the current administration, provided funding for various groups to help support asylum seekers and other people that are going through the immigration court system. I expect it will continue, if not expand upon, those kinds of resources,” Lightfoot said during a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called the president's plan "mean-spirited," but said his sanctuary city would open its doors if Trump follows through.
"People have come to this country, documented or undocumented, they're hard working and family people, they want a better life," said Kenney, according to KYW Radio. "They tend to open up businesses and employ other people. If they reverse the decision and send people here, I'd be happy to have them."