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Trump says he will delay ICE raids, lawmakers will ‘work out’ solution

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President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he was delaying Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids that were planned to target migrant families so lawmakers can work out further immigration policy.

“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,'” Trump wrote on Twitter. “If not, Deportations start!”

The tweet came just hours after Trump defended the raids, saying they were a necessary measure to deal with families who were in the country illegally.

“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,” he tweeted early Saturday. “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.”

The Washington Post reported that ICE is expected to target 2,000 families in up to 10 cities, including Chicago, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles. Trump had announced earlier this week that ICE will “begin the process of removing millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”

Read more: ICE reportedly plans to start rounding up thousands of migrant families in 10 major cities

Trump told reporters Saturday that the raids were an example of “very good law enforcement people going by the law,” saying the administration’s top priority was “very focused on getting MS-13 out of this country.”

Hitting back at cities who pushed back on plans for the raids, Trump said those who had spoken out are “generally high crime cities,” and also designated sanctuary cities.

Reuters reports that the number of migrants apprehended crossing the US-Mexico border surged last month to the highest level since 2006, many of them families fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.

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