This week on "FOX News Sunday," host Chris Wallace asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the president's proposal to ship detained illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, wondering, "is the president serious?"
WALLACE: Is the president serious? Does he really intend to ship thousands of immigrants all across the country to cities like, New York and San Francisco and a lot of other places?
SANDERS: Certainly, we are looking at all options. As long as Democrats, Chris, continue to ignore the crisis at the border, continue to refuse to sit down with the president and Republicans in Congress, and come up with a solution to stop the national security and humanitarian crisis, and the number of illegal immigrants that are flooding across our border, then we have to look at all options across the table, so that the towns right there on the border aren't taking on the entire burden and that we’re shifting some of that burden to places who constantly claim to want to have open borders and want to have an open city.
So, let's put some of those people into their communities and into their towns, and see if they are OK then with that same impact.
Again, the big part of the question and the big thing we have to look at here is how do we stop this from being a problem in the first place? We shouldn't have to be putting people and moving them all across the country to spread that out. We should have a border that strong, a border that secure, a border that functions the way that it's supposed to.
That's the president’s number one priority. That’s what he’d like to see happened, and that’s what he’d like Democrats to work with him to solve. If they continued to be unwilling to do that, we're certainly looking at all options.
WALLACE: OK. I want to pick up on this specific option though about shipping migrants to sanctuary cities. The president tweeted last night that he has, the government has, quote, the absolute legal right to do so, but as has been reported, this was floated by the White House, brought over to DHS and they said repeatedly that it was not legal to do so. And also, they said counterproductive.
Take a look at some of the objections that DHS raised. They said: Congress has approved no specific money for this purpose. ICE says it would be an unnecessary operational burden. Sending them to century cities which don't cooperate with federal enforcement of immigration laws would make it harder to round them up later. And then, also, it might be an incentive to more illegal immigration.
I guess the question is, how do you overcome all of those problems?
SANDERS: Again, nobody thinks this is the ideal solution, but until we can fix the crisis at the border, we have to look at all options. This is one of them. Whether or not it moves forward, that’s yet to be determined.
This was raised at a staff level initially and pushed back on. The president wants us to export again, so that is being done and they're doing a complete and thorough review. But again, the big thing is, if Democrats, including the mayors and members of Congress in these communities want these individuals, they should be helping the president frankly look for solutions to bring them to their communities instead of fighting that president every step of the way.
Let's work together, let’s solve the crisis at the border and let’s figure out how it doesn't make a massive impact on any one particular community like were seen in a lot of the border towns all along our southern border.