Portland Bureau of Transportation

This morning began, as it usually does, with a incendiary tweet from Donald Trump. The theme? Forcing undocumented immigrants to live in so-called "sanctuary cities" as some type of punishment to the majority-liberal cities.

Of course, it's only the latest example of Trump demonizing people who've immigrated to the United States without documentation. (Not long after posting this tweet, Trump ordered Homeland Security close the US' southern border with Mexico to deter "dangerous" immigrants.)

Both Portland and the entire state of Oregon are protected by sanctuary laws, meaning that local law enforcement agrees not to share resident information with federal immigration issues, unless it's directly related to a crime.

In an email to the Mercury, Wheeler called the idea "unconscionable."

"To think about separating people from their families, bus them across the U.S., and then unceremoniously strand them in jurisdictions believed to be hostile to the President—speaks to this administration’s depravity," Wheeler wrote. "To put it simply, humans are not pawns. This is not a game. These are people’s lives."

Wheeler is currently under investigation by the union representing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees into how Wheeler handled last summer's Occupy ICE protests. Trump called for Wheeler's resignation during the protests themselves. In his email, Wheeler said Portland will continue to protect its sanctuary status.

"We strongly denounce the cruel efforts of this administration to retaliate against sanctuary cities," he added.

Both the Multnomah County District Attorney's office and the Multnomah County Sheriffs office declined to comment.

Many immigrant advocacy groups across the country responded to Trump's message with open arms, reminding the public how integral immigrants are to US communities. Causa, an Oregon immigration rights nonprofit, joined that chorus.

"Immigrants living in Oregon are part of our families, communities, workplaces, and places of worship. They are our neighbors, friends, and local business owners. Immigrants are contributors to our communities," wrote Iván Hernández, a spokesperson for Causa. "Diversity is one of America’s greatest strengths—it’s part of what defines us as a nation. It is important that America remains a beacon of hope and freedom for people all over the world."