Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Migrants walk into the interior of Mexico after crossing the Guatemalan border near Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico on Oct. 21, 2018. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

'Despicable': Treating Human Beings as Political Pawns, Trump Reportedly Pushed to Drop Asylum Seekers in Democratic Sanctuary Cities

"The White House doesn't view migrants as human beings."

Jake Johnson

In what critics and rights groups condemned as further evidence that the Trump administration views asylum seekers as mere political pawns rather than vulnerable human beings, the White House reportedly considered dropping migrants off in Democratic districts as a supposed "punishment" for their opposition to the president's anti-immigrant agenda.

"The extent of this administration's cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated," said Ashley Etienne, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose district was reportedly floated as a "target" by the White House. "Using human beings—including little children—as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable."

According to the Washington Post, which first reported on the White House plan late Thursday, "Trump administration officials have proposed transporting detained immigrants to sanctuary cities at least twice in the past six months—once in November, as a migrant caravan approached the U.S. southern border, and again in February, amid a standoff with Democrats over funding for Trump’s border wall."

Anna Griffin, news director at Oregon Public Broadcasting, pointed out that an "unmentioned irony" of the Trump administration's cynical ploy is that, if it had been carried out, "folks in Portland and other sanctuary cities would have been very welcoming and probably looked for ways to make their guests feel at home."

President Donald Trump's xenophobic senior adviser Stephen Miller—who has been quickly gaining power in the White House amid an ongoing "purge" of immigration staff—spearheaded discussions of the proposal, the Post reported, citing Department of Homeland Security officials and internal administration emails.

"White House officials first broached the plan in a Nov. 16 email, asking officials at several agencies whether members of the caravan could be arrested at the border and then bused 'to small- and mid-sized sanctuary cities,' places where local authorities have refused to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation," according to the Post.

Progressives were appalled by the Trump administration's proposal, which the White House downplayed as little more than a "suggestion" that was not carried out.

As observers pointed out, the reported ploy lays bare once more the Trump administration's xenophobic and false view of migrants as dangerous "invaders," rather than people seeking refuge from violence and persecution in their home countries.

"These are people seeking safety, not political pawns," tweeted the ACLU.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Harris Says White House Not 'Discussing' Use of Federal Land for Abortion Care

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among the Democratic lawmakers who have expressed support for the idea as GOP-controlled states move to outlaw abortion.

Jake Johnson ·


Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo