Mark Morgan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, revealed Saturday that the ICE raids planned for Sunday morning were cancelled because of government leaks and the media's subsequent reporting on key operation details.
"The media got ahold of some operational specifics, and they reported it. It's just egregious, and it puts the lives of the officers and agents at risk," Morgan told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.
"The men and women at ICE are true American heroes. The president recognized that. He postponed it to protect them," Morgan explained.
President Trump Delays ICE Raids www.youtube.com
President Donald Trump announced Saturday afternoon the ICE operation would be delayed two weeks, citing requests from Democrats. It has since been reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called him personally to request the government not move forward with the raids.
The operation was originally slated to begin in the pre-dawn hours on Sunday, targeting thousands of illegal immigrants across 10 U.S. cities.
Who leaked operation details?
According to the Washington Examiner, government officials believe acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is behind the leaks.
Five government officials who spoke with the Examiner said McAleenan has been petitioning against the operation for months.
From the Examiner:
The sources said only a small number of people in the White House, ICE, and DHS were even aware of the plan's details, including which cities, the date and time, and who would be targeted.
Two officials said the acting secretary, who was promoted internally in April, had fought for months during closed-door discussions with White House officials, the former acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello, and the new acting ICE Director Mark Morgan against the plan, which they noted was similar to one the Obama administration carried out in 2015.
Further, according to the Examiner, McAleenan traveled to the border on a government plane last Wednesday with the Washington Post reporter who broke the news about the ICE operation.
"It really jeopardized the safety of law enforcement officers — that's the part that's really detrimental," one official told the Examiner.