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President Trump announces delay to illegal immigrant deportation operation

'At the request of Democrats...'

John Moore/Getty Images

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he will temporarily delay his plan to deport thousands of illegal immigrants from the United States.

The president said he chose to delay the operation in order for lawmakers to address the growing border crisis with a bipartisan solution.

"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 said on Twitter. "If not, Deportations start!"

Immigrant roundups were slated to begin Sunday morning, targeting thousands of illegal immigrant families across nearly a dozen major U.S. cities, whose leaders voiced apprehension over the plan.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) even threatened to block Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from accessing Chicago law enforcement databases to prevent agents from arresting immigrants.

Trump's announcement came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on Trump to back down, characterizing the operation as "heartless." She even pressured religious leaders to persuade Trump to halt the plan.

Earlier in the day, Trump defended his plan, explaining immigrants who would be targeted have already been ordered leave the U.S., but refused to do so.

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