Donald Trump announced that he planned nationwide ICE raids to target undocumented immigrants, but then abruptly delayed the plans; and a phone call from Nancy Pelosi may be the reason.
Trump had announced this week that he planned a series of coordinated arrests and deportations in 10 major American cities through the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Trump them took to Twitter to announce that he would delay the plan by several weeks to give Congress a chance to “get together and work out a solution,” and CNN revealed on Saturday that House Speaker Pelosi may have been the one who prompted the delay.
A source familiar with the call told CNN that Trump and Pelosi spoke on Friday evening for roughly 12 minutes. As one unnamed Democratic aide noted, Trump’s announcement of the ICE raids appeared to be an attempt to gain leverage in negotiations with Democrats, but the tactic hasn’t worked.
“Democrats aren’t going to compromise their values,” the aide said. “He’s walked away from several deals on immigration. We have no illusions here.”
Democrats have held tightly together before under Trump’s immigration-related threats, including the government shutdown that Trump prompted over demands for border wall funding.
Pelosi had reportedly pushed for Trump to cancel the planned raids, which she called a “brutal action which will tear families apart and inject terror into our communities.” While Trump had continued to defend his plans, claiming that the people being targeted had broken the law, he later said his delay was an attempt to give concession to Democrats in the hopes of crafting a more sweeping immigration reform agreement.
Trump had initially claimed that the raids would target “millions” of undocumented immigrants, though it was unclear exactly how the operation would be pulled off, or what the cost of such a massive operation would be. Critics have said that Trump’s threats of mass deportation are not feasible and that the current immigration system would not be able to handle such massive actions.
Trump: ICE to begin removing “millions” of undocumented immigrants next week https://t.co/ih1yxd2Lat
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 18, 2019
The planned ICE raids had already garnered opposition from officials in several of the cities to be targeted, with some saying they would not cooperate with ICE. The agency itself was reportedly ill-prepared, with Vox reporting that ICE was “blindsided” by Trump’s tweet announcing the raids.
The report noted that the announcement appeared to be motivated mostly by politics, as it was announced the night before Trump officially kicked off his 2020 re-election campaign with a rally in Orlando, Florida.