The president of the House of Representatives of the United States, Nancy Pelosi, telephoned President Donald Trump and asked him to postpone his planned raids to deport immigrants who are in the country illegally.
The California Democrat called Trump on Friday night, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak of her publicly. The person spoke on the condition that she was not identified.
The raids, which sparked anger and concern among immigrant advocates, were scheduled to begin on Sunday against people who are subject to final deportation orders, including families whose immigration cases were summarily settled by judges.
Trump announced a two-week postponement with a tweet on Saturday afternoon. Pelosi responded with his own tweet: “Mr. President, the postponement is appreciated. It takes time for comprehensive immigration reform. Families must be together.”
The president had told Pelosi that he would study the application, said the person familiar with the situation.
It is unknown what else they talked about. However, in a statement issued on Saturday before Trump announced his decision, Pelosi appealed to the same compassion expressed by the president when he canceled an attack on Iran because of the possible cost of lives.
Trump temporarily suspended the planned national operation to deport those living illegally in the United States, including families, saying he will give lawmakers two weeks to find solutions to the problem of the southern border.
Trump made the decision after Pelosi phoned him on Friday to ask him to cancel the raids. However, three government officials said the cancellation of the operation was not just a political issue.
They said senior officials of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) expressed serious concern that the security of the agents would be in danger because many details of the raids were made public.
The sources requested anonymity to make statements about private conversations.
“At the request of the Democrats, I have postponed the Illegal Immigration Withdrawal Process (deportations) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and the Republicans can reach an agreement and find a solution to the asylum problems and legal loopholes in the border. South, “Trump wrote on Twitter. “If not, deportations will start!”
The cancellation is another indication of the government’s difficulties in controlling the border crisis. The number of people crossing into the United States from Mexico has risen sharply in the Trump administration, despite the severity of his speech and his energetic policies. Combining the great operational changes that the White House intends with reality on the ground is a constant challenge for the Department of Homeland Security.
Trump initially warned of the raids when he announced the operation in a tweet earlier in the week, saying an operation was coming and the agency would begin deporting “millions” of people who are illegally in the United States.
Then, the leaks to the press included delicate details about the police action, such as the day on which the raids would begin on Sunday, as well as the names of the cities where they would take place and other operational details.
Carol Danko, an ICE spokeswoman, criticized the leaks in a statement on Saturday because of its possible consequences for agency staff and said that “any leak that exposes delicate police operations is atrocious and endangers the safety of our agents.”
“The president mentioned the importance of avoiding the collateral damage of 150 lives in Iran. I would expect him to apply the same criteria to avoid collateral damage to tens of thousands of children frightened by his actions, “Pelosi said.
The legislator said the raids are “ruthless.”
Stopping the flow of illegal immigrants has been a distinct issue of Trump’s campaign, but Congress has not been able to convert the president’s proposals into law because of opposition from both Republicans and Democrats. The bipartisan talks on the immigration management system began and stalled, but have resumed among some senators.
Lawmakers are weighing whether they grant $ 4.6 billion in emergency resources to help border agencies struggling to cope with the growing number of migrants crossing the border. The measure was approved in a committee of the Senate by 30 votes and one against. However, the House of Representatives is considering taking its own initiative. The funds are running out and Congress is trying to approve a measure in advance of the recess of both chambers next week.
It takes months to coordinate immigration raids. The surprise factor is also an important element. The agents of the ICE do not have search warrants and work from files in which addresses appear and must go to the homes of people and ask to allow them entry. Immigrants are not forced to open their doors and increasingly do not. Agents usually capture between 30 and 40% of the people they were on.
Democratic lawmakers energetically criticized the planned operation as something cruel and many mayors said they would refuse to cooperate with ICE. Immigrant advocates have intensified their campaigns to make these people aware of their rights.
Another complication is that ICE needs to process travel documents with the country to which a person will be deported, so immigrants often end up temporarily detained, at least while waiting for a flight. ICE had reserved hotel rooms for families in case the raids began on Sunday as scheduled.
The adult population detained was 53,141 until June 8, although the agency only had a budget of 45,000. There were 1,662 people from detained families, whose detention centers are at their maximum capacity and one of whom has detained adults alone.