MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
President Trump says he has called off planned nationwide raids of immigrant families which were expected as soon as tomorrow. He tweeted that he made that move at the request of Democrats and that he is giving Congress two weeks to deal with immigration or the raids will continue as previously planned. NPR's White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe is with us now to tell us more. Ayesha, nice to have you with us.
AYESHA RASCOE, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.
MARTIN: So what were these raids supposed to accomplish, and what is President Trump saying about them now?
RASCOE: Well, he's saying he's putting off these planned deportations for two weeks. And he says that he wants Republicans and Democrats to get together and come up with a solution for what he considers to be loopholes and issues with asylum-seekers crossing the southern border. These roundups were supposed to start this weekend in 10 cities and were targeted at migrants newly arrived to the country. These are families who were sent deportation orders and failed to show up at court. This was stirring up a lot of backlash from immigrant rights groups and Democrats, who were saying that this was kind of - or that this was inhumane to kind of round up these families. And some cities were saying they would not cooperate with ICE on this issue.
MARTIN: Were Democrats reaching out to Trump on this?
RASCOE: So we know that at least one very prominent Democrat did reach out to Trump, and that's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A source familiar with the situation told NPR that Pelosi talked with Trump last night and asked him not to hold these raids. After Trump announced the decision to postpone these roundups, Pelosi tweeted that the delay is welcome. But she also said that time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform and that families belong together. I should say that this was a pretty abrupt turnaround for the president. Just this morning, Trump was asked about these raids, and he defended them. He was praising ICE and saying that his administration was acting legally by taking these people back to their countries.
MARTIN: And it is a very abrupt turnaround, and I wish I had more time to ask you about that. So I am assuming that two weeks is a very short amount of time to come up with a comprehensive deal. What do we think is going to happen now? I mean, will Trump be willing to put off these raids for longer than two weeks? And this does seem to be coming to be part of a pattern, you know, threatening to take action, setting a deadline, that sort of thing. What do we think is going to happen now, Ayesha? We only have about 30 seconds left.
RASCOE: Well, so we don't know that there - that he would be willing to make any changes. He's kind of - I'm sorry, that's my child knocking on the door. He - we don't know if he would be willing to wait longer than two weeks. But it's definitely going to take Congress longer than two weeks to make a deal, and so we know that. And so the question is, what is the White House going to be willing to do in the meantime?
MARTIN: All right. Go back to your other job, Ayesha. That's NPR White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe. Thank you so much.
RASCOE: All right. Thank you.
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