Immigrations and Customs Enforcement was set to launch a major roundup of undocumented immigrants living in the United States on Sunday, targeting a few thousand families. But on Saturday, Trump tweeted out that he was putting that operation on hold for two weeks and said that if Congress didn’t take action to change the immigration laws in a manner he likes, he’ll give it the green light again:
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
He’s made clear that he wants to change, if not end entirely, the longstanding policy of allowing people to ask for asylum or refugee status and go through the process of being evaluated for eligibility. I just don’t see Congress doing that. Our current policy is almost universal around the world and is required by international law. It’s also just the right thing to do. Do we really want a country that refuses to provide protection to people who are oppressed and persecuted? I doubt even the Republican-controlled Senate would vote for that, though they might support a bill that would require people to ask for asylum at an American embassy and not when they reach American soil.
Trump’s current policy is grotesque and illegal. He has asylum seekers arrested and jailed, including entire families, which is what precipitated the practice of taking children away from their parents (because it’s against the law to imprison children for the actions of their parents). That policy rips families apart, denies basic human rights and turns America into a country we should not want to be.
But this is classic Trump “negotiating” and setting up an excuse to blame it all on the Democrats — Hey, I gave them the chance to stop this and they didn’t, so it’s all their fault.