A Central American migrant with his child, Tijuana, Mexico

Donald Trump boasts about his “sick idea” to release detained immigrants into “sanctuary cities” with Democratic administrations, hoping to capitalize on his anti-immigrant theme for re-election in 2020.

Trump told a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday:

We’re sending many [immigrants] to sanctuary cities, thank you very much. They’re not too happy about it. I’m proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea.

Earlier this month, reports circulated that officials were considering the release of thousands of immigrants, held under the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

Trump’s apparent hope was that those who have recently entered the US, some of whom he has called “animals”, would commit crimes and cause disorder to embarrass Democrats.

US agencies soon denied that the proposal had made any progress. The political tactic backfired when leaders in sanctuary cities said they would welcome the released immigrants.

However, Trump persisted on Twitter:

The ploy is the latest as Trump and his advisors focus on hostility to migrants in the belief that it will win votes. He has declared a “national emergency” to take money from the military for his Wall with Mexico. In the past month, he has threatened to close the Mexico border, told border officials to break the law by blocking entry to asylum seekers, assured the head of Customs and Border Protection of a pardon if he carried out the order, and dismissed officials — including Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen — considered “weak”.

TrumpWatch, Day 813: Trump to Border Chief — I’ll Pardon You if You Break Law
TrumpWatch, Day 813: Trump to Border Chief — I’ll Pardon You if You Break Law

In other passages of the speech, Trump again said he was the victim of an attempted “coup” by former and current US officials; insulted political opponents and encouraged the crowd to chant, “Lock her up!”, about Hillary Clinton; and falsely said mothers and doctors might decide to “execute” babies, in an intervention over abortion regulations.

At one point, in his attempt to bury the Mueller Report on Trump-Russia links, he called law enforcement officials, including of the FBI, “scum”.

TrumpWatch, Day 826: Trump Claims Attempted “Coup”
TrumpWatch, Day 821: Trump Fumes as Mueller Report Gathers Steam