July 22, 2019
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Trump says he'll delay deportation raids for 2 weeks

 The president of the United States, Donald Trump speaks to reporters on June 22, 2019, in Washington DC before departing the White House for a weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland. EPA-EFE/MIKE THEILER / POOL

The president of the United States, Donald Trump speaks to reporters on June 22, 2019, in Washington DC before departing the White House for a weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland. EPA-EFE/MIKE THEILER / POOL

Washington, Jun 22 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States said Saturday that he would delay planned weekend deportation raids for two weeks while waiting to see if Democrats and Republicans in Congress can come up with solutions to the problems at the southern border.

Donald Trump made the announcement on Twitter.

"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!" Trump wrote.

Local media reported Friday that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) federal law-enforcement agency planned to launch a series of massive raids in 10 US cities on Sunday targeting undocumented families that have received final deportation orders.

The press reports indicated the operation could affect up to 2,000 families of undocumented migrants with removal orders in the cities of New York, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Baltimore and Denver.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that mass deportations would start next week.

"Next week ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States," Trump said then. "They will be removed as fast as they come in."

ICE Acting Director Mark Morgan, for his part, told ABC News on Friday that there were no plans to start deportations of "millions" of undocumented migrants.

But two days earlier he said his agency was planning an operation targeting some 2,000 families who had arrived in the country recently and been served deportation orders or missed a court date.

The threatened raids touched off an avalanche of reactions from Democrats and immigrant advocacy groups.

The speaker of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, on Saturday issued a statement condemning what she called "heartless planned immigration raids."

"Yesterday, the President spoke about the importance of avoiding the collateral damage of 150 lives in Iran. I would hope he would apply that same value to avoiding the collateral damage to tens of thousands of children who are frightened by his actions," she wrote.

Trump in February declared a national emergency with the goal of bypassing Congress and securing billions of dollars in additional funding to build a wall on the US border with Mexico.

Trump said then the move was necessary to stop an "invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs."

The president's surprise run to the White House in 2016 was fueled in part by his vow to build a border wall and take other steps to crack down on illegal immigration

A perception among his supporters that he is fulfilling those promises is considered crucial to his re-election hopes in 2020.

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