House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Monday wondered aloud what purpose “interior enforcement” serves with respect to U.S. immigration law following President Donald Trump’s decision to temporarily delay Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that were planned to take place over the weekend.
“When I saw that the president was going to have these raids, it was so appalling, it’s outside the circle of civilized human behavior to just be kicking down doors, splitting up families, and the rest of that, in addition to injustices that are happening at the border, we have legislation to go forward to address those needs. But in terms of interior enforce, what is the purpose? What is the point?” Pelosi said.
“I won’t even go into what the motivation might be for that here because this is not a political event,” she added.
Pelosi made the remarks during a round table discussion hosted by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) in Elmhurst, New York.
On Friday evening, Pelosi reportedly called President Trump and asked him to call off planned raids to deport immigrants here illegally — a request he granted, though only temporarily, announcing a two-week delay Saturday afternoon to give Congress time to discuss solutions to the worsening border security situation.
“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!” President Trump wrote 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019
Pelosi responded with her own tweet, “Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong 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
The operation was expected to begin Sunday in 10 major cities and would have targeted people with final orders of removal.
As Breitbart News reported, 1.7 million illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America currently reside in the U.S. who have deportation orders or a pending deportation order.
Former Acting Director of ICE Thomas Homan has accused Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kevin McAleenan of “resisting” the agency’s planned raids targeting illegal aliens and inferred McAleenan leaked details of the operation to sabotage it.
“These mayors aren’t the only ones resisting ICE. You’ve got acting Secretary of Homeland Security resisting what ICE is trying to do. In the Washington Post story, and numerous media outlets, he does not support this operation. And I tell you what, if that’s his position then he’s on the wrong side of this issue,” Homan told Fox & Friends on Saturday.
“When this story was leaked, they gave the location of the cities, the day this was supposed to start, how many targets. This leak, which I know where the leak came from, I think we all know where the leak came from. That story only benefits one person. Put these officers at greater risk of harm,” he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.