On June 17, President Trump tweeted that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin rounding up and deporting thousands of illegal immigrants in multiple American cities:

​Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!

On Saturday, the president claimed that “the people that ICE will apprehend have already been ordered to be deported. This means that they have run from the law and run from the courts. These are people that are supposed to go back to their home country. They broke the law by coming into the country, & now by staying.”

He added: “When people come into our Country illegally, they will be DEPORTED!”

Less than seven hours after the above tweets, Trump announced the decision to put off the deportation plan for “two weeks” in order to give Congress time to draft legislation that would fix issues pertaining to asylum and loopholes:

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!

Two explanations have been proffered as to why the raids were delayed.

Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro on Saturday that leaked “operational specifics” were published by the press, and as a result, the lives of agents could be endangered.

He added:

So, what the President did – he recognized that, and so he postponed, one, to protect them, but also to give Congress another chance on a bipartisan method to actually get together, pass this supplement, so that we can enforce the rule of law…

Additionally, CNN reports that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) phoned the president on Friday, and asked him personally for the delay. This alleged phone call appears to be reflected in Trump’s tweet regarding the raids.

On June 18, the day after the president announced the upcoming deportations, a press release from Speaker Pelosi referred to the plan as “an act of utter malice and bigotry.”

The President’s new threat of a mass deportation dragnet is an act of utter malice and bigotry, designed solely to inject fear in our communities. This plan revives the horror of the President’s family separation policy, inflicting its inhumanity on countless hard-working families across America.

The press release continued, blaming the Trump administration for “senseless tragedy,” and accusing the president of “sabotaging good-faith, constructive and bipartisan efforts in Congress to address the root causes of the situation by blocking funding for humanitarian efforts in Central America.”

Following the president’s announcement, Pelosi tweeted: “Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together.”

According to the Department of Justice, from fiscal years 2013-2017, approximately 23% of illegal immigrants who were released from custody failed to appear for their follow-up hearings. PolitiFact writes: “Of the 665,930 immigrants who were released,151,492 were no-shows.”

These numbers are a source of contention, however, as Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan recently told Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that a program designed to asses the problems surrounding asylum seeking families found that the absentia rate is as high as 90%.

“Out of those 7,000 cases, 90 received final orders of removal in absentia, 90 percent,” said McAleenan. “That is a recent sample from families crossing the border.”

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