Trump says mass migrant deportation program delayed | News | DW | 22.06.2019
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Trump says mass migrant deportation program delayed

US President Donald Trump says he'll hold back the planned sweep of migrants in 10 American citiies for two weeks. The Democrats denounced the plan as "injecting terror into our communities."

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would postpone a nationwide sweep to deport people living in the US illegally.

In a Twitter message, he said: 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 [issues at the US border]."

The Associated Press cited three White House officials as saying the operation was canceled because details had been leaked in the media and officer safety could be jeopardized. 

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The sweep was expected to begin Sunday and would have targeted up to 2,000 families facing deportation orders in as many as 10 US cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

'Brutal' act of 'terror'

The deportation action was slammed by opposition lawmakers, with Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, calling the raids a "brutal action which will tear families apart and inject terror into our communities."

Trump has made countering the flow of undocumented immigrants, mostly from Central America, into the US a centerpiece of his presidency. 

The country is still reeling from his administration's short-lived migrant family separation policy last year.

Read more: US, Mexico sign agreement to slow immigration, avoid tariffs

After thousands of children, some as young as four months old, were taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border, the White House has struggled to reunite them with their parents, despite court orders to do so.

In some cases, either the parents or children have been sent back to their country of origin without their relatives.

The administration has also come under fire for the squalid conditions it is keeping refugees in at the border, which critics have described as "concentration camps."

mm/aw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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