In his second last-minute policy reversal this week, President Trump called off his impending mass deportation order that would have had ICE agents rounding up thousands of immigrants under deportation orders or who had missed court dates.
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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
The president’s temporary change of heart on his immigration enforcement plans comes just days after it was revealed that he put a last-minute halt to a retaliatory attack on Iran after that country shot down an unmanned U.S. drone in disputed circumstances.
Like the cancellation of the attack on Iran — which Trump has claimed he decided upon after realizing that the estimated 150 Iranian casualties that would have likely resulted from the attack would be a “disproportionate” response — the president is once again creating a problem by stating that he will take an unpopular controversial action and then portraying himself as the person coming to the rescue for the problem of his own making.
According to Politico, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump on Friday evening asking him to call off the raids, according to a source familiar with the conversation, which lasted about 12 minutes.”
Pelosi responded to the president’s Twitter announcement of his temporary delay in enforcement action with a tweet of her own welcoming his move and restating her party’s commitment to keeping refugee families together.
Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together. https://t.co/R9PDrfaKWj
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 22, 2019
In an earlier statement before Trump signaled his reversal, Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) described the anticipated raids as “heartless.”
“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. It is important that the President and our immigrant communities know that they have rights in America,” Pelosi said.
Trump’s deportation plans had faced opposition from numerous mayors and local law enforcement officials across the country as exemplified by this statement from Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva:
“I strongly oppose President Trump’s threats of mass deportations on Twitter and television. His actions are irresponsible and unnecessary if in fact the President is truly concerned with removing violent undocumented felons to ensure your public safety,” Villanueva said.
Much of the alarm generated among local law enforcement officials was the result of Trump’s bellicose exaggerations on the eve of his latest campaign rally last week in Orlando when he stated that “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.”
With doubts rampant over Trump’s claims that the immigration enforcement actions could logistically handle the million-person figure that the president cited, local law enforcement officials were worried over the disruptions that the immigration raids cause in their communities as long-standing U.S. residents without official papers could find themselves rounded up and deported because of an unpaid traffic ticket or some other minor violation.
While immigrants can breathe a sigh of relief for the next two weeks, just like the Iran crisis, the danger is not yet over. If Trump doesn’t get the results that he wants, he could just as easily order the deportations to begin again.
All the more reason to begin impeachment hearing to remove this unstable and petulant man from the White House as soon as humanly possible.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.
Original reporting by Christian Vasquez at Politico.