Bogeymen, the Grinch, zombies, werewolves, vampires, that mean dog across the street who growls every time someone walks by, the President of the United States.
You wouldn’t normally expect to see that last listing included in an enumeration of things that are making children across the country frightened, but according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), that’s exactly what President Trump is doing with his threat of imminent ICE raids designed to round up and deport undocumented immigrants.
Speaker Pelosi told the press today that she had warned the president about how his draconian anti-immigration plans were “scaring the children” during a Friday phone call with Trump that resulted in a postponement of the planned raids targeting immigrant communities in 10 major cities that had originally been set to begin on Sunday.
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After the call with Pelosi, Trump subsequently decided to postpone the implementation of the immigrant roundup for two weeks to allow Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work out an agreement on new immigration legislation.
The House Speaker described how she approached the immigration raid discussion with the president:
“When I spoke to the president, I said, look, I’m a mom, I have five kids, seven, nine grandchildren. And children are scared. You’re scaring the children of America. Not just in those families, but their neighbors and their communities. You’re scaring the children,” Pelosi said at an immigration policy discussion in New York.
Pelosi says that she urged Trump to consider pressing for congressional passage of comprehensive immigration reform rather than begin mass deportations, but that the president continued to make the argument that “people broke the law,” an argument that he apparently doesn’t apply to his own documented criminal behavior.
The Democratic House leader made the case to President Trump that refugees whose only violation is their presence in the country without official visas are not a danger to society and should not be subject to automatic deportation.
“I said, a violation of status is not a reason for deportation, that’s just not so,” Pelosi said she told Trump. “If you have some people who are guilty that you want to make a case against, that has nothing to do with violation of status, because then we’re talking about over 10 million people who may be subjected to this treatment, and what we need there is comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.”
While Trump eventually conceded to Pelosi’s wishes, he set a short two-week deadline for Congress to act on immigration reform before resuming his deportation raid plans to show results for his rabidly xenophobic base, tweeting his concession with a warning.
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
While Pelosi’s appeal to Trump’s questionable desire to not appear as a monstrous figure to the nation’s children seems to have worked for now, perhaps she can now attempt to have the president cease being a source of fear and anxiety to the rest of the country’s residents as well.
Beginning those impeachment hearings would be a good first step, Speaker Pelosi.
Go ahead. They are long overdue.
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Original reporting by Cristina Marcos at The Hill.