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'This City Was Built By Immigrants': Mayor Bill Peduto Says Detained Migrants Would Be Welcomed To Pittsburgh

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) -- Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says immigrants would be welcomed to the city should the Trump administration send detained migrants here.

Trump claimed on Monday that his proposal to send migrants to so-called sanctuary cities has taken effect, tweeting, "Those Illegal Immigrants who can no longer be legally held (Congress must fix the laws and loopholes) will be, subject to Homeland Security, given to Sanctuary Cities and States!"

In response to the president's comments, Mayor Peduto told KDKA, "We welcome people to Pittsburgh. This city was built by immigrants when the laws were different, and we've sort of forgotten that the idea of America was a country that would welcome all -- especially those that are facing persecution or whose countries are facing poverty."

The mayor added, "We certainly have room to rebuild neighborhoods and to be able to see people have the ability to start families away from persecution."

It's unclear, however, whether Homeland Security is taking any steps to implement the contentious plan. Lawyers there had previously told the White House that the idea was unfeasible and a misuse of funds. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is already strapped for cash.

Mayor Peduto says he doubts the president's proposal will take effect. "I don't think the administration is going to follow through with it," Peduto said. "The White House may be deciding that that's a course of action, but the officials involved in different government agencies I don't think are pursuing it."

The mayor made clear that if the plan were to be implemented, Pittsburgh would welcome any migrants.

"If we were in a position where there would be several hundred immigrants that would be coming to Pittsburgh, we have non-profit organizations and faith-based organizations that work on this on a daily basis," Mayor Peduto explained. "We'd be reaching out them to find out what type of capacity that they would have, and then we would work with them to be able to minimize any of the potentially negative impacts."

(TM and © Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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