A guard escorts an immigrant detainee from his "segregation cell" back into the general population at the Adelanto Detention Facility in Adelanto, California.
A guard escorts an immigrant detainee from his "segregation cell" back into the general population at the Adelanto Detention Facility in Adelanto, California. (John Moore / Getty Images)

For those who might have missed it, last week produced quite a little commotion over the prospect of the Trump administration releasing detainees on the streets of so-called “sanctuary” communities like, oh, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco. As first reported by The Washington Post, administration officials twice in the last six months proposed the practice in apparent retaliation for the Democrats’ refusal to fund a border wall. The idea is that immigrants would be arrested at the border, put on a bus and then unceremoniously dropped in cities, including relatively small ones, where local authorities have in the past refused to hand over undocumented for deportation.

The administration’s reaction? Well, at first they tut-tutted. They said it was considered and then dismissed. There was even a little between-the-lines annoyance that the media dared to report it as something seriously under consideration. “This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion,” according to the statement issued by staff. But apparently nobody in the White House press office bothered to consult the man in the Oval Office because one day later he was only too happy to embrace that kind of retribution politics and government-sanctioned human trafficking.


“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 only....” President Donald J. Trump tweeted Friday. “....The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”

Now, some in the media will probably rail at President Trump for once again taking the low road, for acting like he was a talk-radio “shock jock” just trying to amp up his ratings rather than sitting in the most powerful post in the land and responsible for actual governance of an entire country, red, blue, sanctuary, non-sanctuary, everything. Chances are, he’s not really serious, he’s just trying to take a poke at liberals. But then you never know. People thought he wasn’t serious about appointing Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve, yet it appears some Republican senators are going to have to commit to rejecting the woefully unqualified former Godfather’s Pizza CEO before the White House recognizes he shouldn’t be responsible for the nation’s central bank or monetary policy.

Instead, President Trump may have just started a trend, and we’re delighted to hear about it. If it’s now considered perfectly acceptable to ship the nation’s problems to the jurisdictions that ought to be blamed for aiding and abetting them, then have we got some Greyhound buses (and perhaps some Mayflower moving vans) to send to Red States. The list can start with:

  • Guns, guns and more guns. Hey, they like their military-style assault weapons so much that their elected officials object when Congress dares consider imposing background checks for private gun sales? Let’s drop any confiscated weaponry in some of those “right-to-carry” states. Surely, they won’t mind if they are handed out on a first-come, first-served, no-questions asked basis.
  • Homeless. Conservatives are always observing that cities have homeless. Let’s help them get better educated on the subject by dropping them off so they can find out about the problem first-hand and perhaps discover how low wages, evictions and foreclosures, health problems, mental illness, poverty, addiction and a lack of affordable housing make this a lot more challenging than conservatives seem to think it is.
  • The uninsured. Red States helped cripple Obamacare so they can handle all those patients who can’t get health insurance, right? Sure, they can.
  • Pollution. Notice how the right-wing always cheers when the latest environmental rollback is announced by the EPA or the Department of the Interior and the like? Surely, they would enjoy getting a good taste of benzene, or mercury or some other deadly toxic. Or let them drink whatever Flint, Michigan is having.
  • Poverty. This might be a bit tricky but let’s pull a “Prince and the Pauper” deal and do straight up exchanges so people like casino magnate and Trump supporter Sheldon Adelson can try living in Sandtown on $50 a week and some lucky West Baltimorean can try Las Vegas on $10 million a week.
  • Science. Alas, we can’t ship all the problems of climate change to certain parts of the country and spare others. Climate just doesn’t work that way. But surely we can decree that those who deny the science of climate change can’t turn around and avail themselves of science in some other aspect of their lives. You want to be a Luddite about greenhouse gases then you can’t have medical science, computers or cell phones. As Mr. Trump would say, this “should make them very happy.”