President Trump abruptly suspended his wide-ranging threat to deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants, demanding that Democrats and Republicans forge a plan to stanch the record flows of asylum-seeking families across the southern border into the U.S., the Washington Post reports. Trump announced the raids last Monday in a surprise tweet that ignited a frenzy of fear in immigrant communities nationwide and drew criticism from law enforcement and elected officials in many and other states. Then, in a move that has become a hallmark of his chaotic presidency, he reversed the plan in a tweet Saturday, a few hours before the raids were to begin.
Trump tweeted that he had “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.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Trump Friday night and asked him to call off the raids. Democratic lawmakers celebrated the decision. In a tweet, Pelosi wrote that the delay “is welcome.” Trump’s eleventh-hour reversal and warning to Democrats mirrored his strategy earlier this month to push the Mexican government to launch a crackdown on Central American migrants passing through that country en route to the U.S., postponing for 45 days his threat to impose tariffs. Since the June 7 agreement, Mexico has deployed elements of its national guard to the country’s southern border and has arrested more migrants. Critics expressed frustration that Trump had frightened immigrants nationwide, making them fearful of going about their normal activities. “This was another bait-and-switch,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. “He creates a crisis, and then he says, ’Oh, let’s solve this crisis! Make a deal with me!’ “