President Trump threw more fuel on the flames of the immigration debate Saturday night in a series of tweets that singled out Democrats and news outlets that had reported on his administration’s plan to relocate migrants to so-called “sanctuary cities.”
Trump specifically singled out the mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf (D), who had criticized a proposed policy to relocate detained immigrants to sanctuary cities as an “abuse of power and public resources.”
Then the president claimed that the mayor does not actually want the detained immigrants to be released into her city. In fact, Schaaf’s administration strengthened Oakland’s sanctuary policy in 2018 and had warned residents last year of an upcoming raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
On Saturday night, she responded to Trump’s attack with a clear message: “Oakland welcomes all.”
In a federally funded welfare state such as the U.S., aren’t poor people an asset for a lot of the politically influential folks within a city? Migrants should be entitled to Medicaid, right? That helps the local health care industry. Migrants should be entitled to food stamps. That is a boost to local supermarket owners. Migrants should be entitled to housing subsidies and/or will have to do some work to pay rent. That’s a boon to anyone who owns an apartment building.
California funds schools centrally. Every migrant child who shows up for a day in an Oakland school, for example, will result in a transfer of funds from Sacramento to Oakland. There should also be federal funds for every new student from a low-income or no-income family.
Might it be an economically rational strategy for political and economic elites in Oakland to pursue a leadership position in the hosting of migrants?
- “Are poor people an economic asset to a U.S. state or a liability?” (2015)
- Tweet from Cher pointing out that Los Angeles can’t take care of its existing poor (until now, she’s been an advocate for migrants and a critic of Donald Trump); is this a situation for a Marie Antoinette-style statement? “If there isn’t enough housing in Los Angeles, let the migrants go to San Francisco”?