Trump confirmed on Twitter that he wanted to transport people detained in his immigration crackdown at the U.S.-Mexico border to sanctuary cities, an informal designation for those that refrain from assisting federal immigration authorities in detaining people living in the country illegally.
Mayors from across the country, from Los Angeles to Chicago to Philadelphia, were quick to respond to Trump's latest portrayal of immigrants and sanctuary cities as threats.
"The city would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement on Friday. "This White House plan demonstrates the utter contempt that the Trump Administration has for basic human dignity."
The Republican president has made cracking down on illegal and legal immigration a centerpiece of his administration, and has regularly threatened to try to cut federal funding to programs in generally Democratic-leaning sanctuary cities, counties and states.
"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," Trump wrote on Twitter, confirming a Washington Post report.
"These are people, not pawns, Mr. President," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote on Twitter late on Thursday, after the news of the plan broke.