(CNSNews.com) - Leading Democrats are outraged over President Trump's stated intention to ship asylum seekers to sanctuary cities and states.
"The president has no right to spend money appropritaed by Congress for other purposes to ship immigrants all over the country," House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
"If someone requests asylum, he should be considered. There should be a place for that person to stay while that request is being adjudicated. This is just -- nor is it right for the president to use immigrants or people who are claiming political asylum as pawns in a fight against political opponents.
"He shouldn't use them as what he imagines as retribution to political opponents in various areas. It's another misuse of presidential power, against the law," Nadler said.
The president defended his plan in several tweets on Saturday:
Just out: 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!
So interesting to see the Mayor of Oakland and other Sanctuary Cities NOT WANT our currently “detained immigrants” after release due to the ridiculous court ordered 20 day rule. If they don’t want to serve our Nation by taking care of them, why should other cities & towns?
Democrats must change the Immigration Laws FAST. If not, Sanctuary Cities must immediately ACT to take care of the Illegal Immigrants - and this includes Gang Members, Drug Dealers, Human Traffickers, and Criminals of all shapes, sizes and kinds. CHANGE THE LAWS NOW!
(On Friday, Trump tweeted: "If the Radical Left Democrats all of a sudden don’t want the Illegal Migrants in their Sanctuary Cities (no more open arms), why should others be expected to take them into their communities? Go home and come into our Country legally and through a system of Merit!")
House SPeaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from the sanctuary called California, said Trump's suggestion to send migrants to sanctuary cities "is just another notion that is unworthy of the presidency of the United States."
Nadler told CNN that Trump's immigration adviser Stephen Miller "ought to come before Congress and explain some of these policies."
Nadler conceded that Miller would likely claim executive privilege, since he works for the president. "But that would be a misuse of executive privilege," Nadler said "because he seems to be making the decisions, not the Cabinet secretaries who come and go."