Planned ICE raids that were set to happen on Sunday in San Francisco and nine other cities are being delayed by at least two weeks, President Trump says. The President says he's giving Democrats in Congress that long to submit changes to US asylum law, but he may have simply realized that the raids had the potential to become another family-separation PR nightmare.
Another reason Trump decided to delay: House Democrats threatened to withhold $4.5 billion in humanitarian aid for border operations, which comes up for a vote next week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a 12-minute phone call with the president on Friday, as the New York Times reports, trying to persuade him to cancel the raids. He made no commitment to do so, but on Saturday he tweeted the following, complete with his usual arbitrary capitalization of words.
At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019
Pelosi had also put out a strongly worded public statement on Saturday calling the ICE raids "heartless" and a "brutal action."
"Families belong together," Pelosi writes. " These families are hard-working members of our communities and our country. The President’s action makes no distinction between a status violation and committing a serious crime."
Because the 2,000 targets of the raids are immigrant families in nine cities that have been asked to self-deport, many with children who were born in the U.S. and are therefore citizens, the raids have the potential to separate many families.
Following the Presidents tweet-announcement, Pelosi tweeted in response, "Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together."