HOUSTON (FOX 26) - President Donald Trump is changing his tune on ICE raids after postponing them in 10 US cities, including Houston.
In a tweet, Trump said, “I want to give the Democrats every last chance to quickly negotiate simple changes to Asylum and Loopholes. This will fix the Southern Border, together with the help that Mexico is now giving us. Probably won’t happen, but worth a try. Two weeks and big Deportation begins!”
Houston is one of the 10 US cities where ICE raids were planned to begin as early as Sunday.
Raids were reportedly being planned in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco.
The president's hope is the two-week delay will allow congress to come up with a solution to get rid of loopholes and fix asylum issues to help end the border crisis.
Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee called a news conference Sunday hoping to calm the panic in immigrant communities across the greater Houston area, who fear they could face deportation.
“We are here today to stop the fear and panic that is going on in the community. Two weeks is not a very long period of time. I do not expect that there will be a miracle, though I hope for a miracle in two weeks,” Lee said.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner echoed his support for migrant families saying the city does not help with mass deportations.
“People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their documentation status. No government should commit acts or actions that spread unwarranted fear and force people to go into the shadows that could endanger their lives and the lives of their loved ones,” Turner said.
Representatives from FIEL Houston and the Mexican Consulate were also in attendance to encourage anyone who's received a deportation order to seek help. Local leaders have compiled a list of resources available including a 24-hour hotline to call for help.
“They can come to the consulate. We have all the resources that are provided by our Mexican government to give them the legal advice, to give them the legal support,” said Alicia Kerber, general consulate of Mexico.
“We will also be having material that we will be handing out to the community so that folks can know what to do if they have an interaction with police or with immigration,” said Cesar Espinoza, executive director at FIEL Houston.
Attorney Silvia Mintz also reiterated that anyone living in the US is entitled to have constitutional rights and due process, regardless of immigration status.
“Even though you have a deportation notice, you can still fight that deportation order. You can still file a motion to reopen. You can still go thru legal avenues to stop that deportation,” Mintz said.
Turner said he the city has proactively contacted ICE authorities for additional information.