President Donald Trump put off for two weeks the start of a planned nationwide roundup of undocumented immigrants, tempering a vow made earlier Saturday to have them “removed from the country” starting next week.
Trump said he was acting “at the request of Democrats,” although immigration officials suggested that reports on the timing of the actions played a role.
The delay will give time “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,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “If not, Deportations start!”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke by telephone with Trump Friday night, asking him to call off the raids, according to a person familiar with the discussion. An hour after Trump disclosed his decision, she tweeted her response.
“Mr President, delay is welcome,” Pelosi said. “Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together.”
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had been poised to start attempting to round up about 2,000 people in 10 cities, including Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore, according to media reports. Trump said the raids were to start in the coming week.