Only one day after mayors and governors around the country stood in unison to support people breaking the law, the President has temporarily put on hold plans to have ICE detain and deport large numbers of illegal aliens in as many as ten cities. Is this a sign that he’s suddenly “seen the light” and decided that enforcing our immigration laws isn’t such a big deal? Not in the slightest. Instead, he might be angling for a better immigration bill out of Congress. And according to CNN, the change in plans was prompted by a call from Nancy Pelosi.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Donald Trump Friday night and asked him to call off the Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation raids scheduled for Sunday, a source familiar with the call told CNN.
Trump pulled back on the raids Saturday a matter of hours after he spoke in support of the coordinated arrests and deportations that were slated to hit 10 major cities. Trump announced via Twitter that he would delay for two weeks US raids to give Congress a chance to “get together and work out a solution” on the enforcement of his signature immigration policy.
Trump and Pelosi spoke at 7:20 p.m. ET Friday night for about 12 minutes, according to the source. White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere confirmed a phone call took place Friday night between Trump and Pelosi.
So what happened on that call? We’re not getting specifics yet, but it’s fairly easy to guess. There is absolutely zero chance that the President would suddenly do an about-face on one of his highest policy priorities just because “Nancy asked him.” So the only other realistic scenario is one in which the Speaker put something on the table after refusing to deal with Trump at all previously. Thus far the President has had to deal with all of these immigration and border security issues using the same broken, underfunded, understaffed system that’s been in place for ages. The Democrats have been unwilling to come to the table and do a deal.
As of yesterday, however, the President was putting his plans on hold to give Congress a couple of weeks to come up with a proposal. Why would he do that unless Pelosi signaled that she was ready to give him something he wants? That’s probably some combination of border wall funding, more immigration judges or additional border security personnel. And what could she be expecting to get in return? If the answer is the cancellation of those major ICE raids, the President can make that deal without breaking a sweat.
ICE can temporarily put those plans on hold and go back to prioritizing the arrests of criminal illegal aliens. (It’s not like we’ve caught them all yet.) There are, no doubt, also plenty of employers hiring illegals to go after. And if they run out of work in those sectors, they can still go round up the people who already have final deportation judgments against them… just not all at once in a sweeping, ten city crackdown. In other words, ICE can simply go back to doing what they’ve been doing all along.
Looked at from that perspective, the planned raids could be seen in a similar light as the Mexico tariffs. Trump threatened to put them in place, then Mexico backed down and cut a favorable deal, so the President canceled them. It sounds as if he’s trying to use exactly the same tactic on Pelosi.