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Immigration

Pelosi Advises Illegal Immigrants on How to Avoid ICE

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses guests in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday offered advice to illegal immigrants seeking to avoid arrest and deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.

“An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant. If that is the only document ICE brings to a home raid, agents do not have the legal right to enter a home. If ICE agents don’t have a warrant signed by a judge, a person may refuse to open the door and let them in,” said Pelosi, reading from prepared remarks at her weekly press conference.

Pelosi’s comments come as ICE plans to begin raids in ten major cities Sunday targeting 2,000 illegal immigrants who have ignored deportation orders.

During a closed-door meeting on Thursday, Pelosi urged members of her caucus to help disseminate the party’s “know your rights” campaign to illegal immigrants in their districts who may be targeted during the raids, Politico reported. She also told her colleagues that she plans to appeal to religious leaders to speak out against the planned raids.

After the meeting, Pelosi told reporters that she believed opposition from religious leaders played a significant role in Trump’s decision to call off a sweeping ICE raid in early June.

“They were very concerned that this goes too far because these raids were not what they signed up for with President Trump. And I think their calls to the president made a difference,” Pelosi said. “Hopefully the president will think again about it or these groups will weigh in once again.”

“Families belong together,” she added. “Every person in America has rights.”

Trump agreed in June to delay the planned raid to give Congress time to reach a compromise on an immigration bill that would include a tightening of asylum laws. House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that the impending raids could have been avoided if his colleagues across the aisle were more willing to negotiate.

“Tell me one thing that this majority has done in the amount of time that the speaker called the president and asked him to delay it? Has there been a hearing? Has there been a bill produced? Have we asked to stay over a weekend and solve this problem?” McCarthy said. “I think if the president actually saw the House actually taking action, he probably would delay even further to make sure the problem gets solved.”

“[Pelosi] asked the president to delay it and he said he would,” McCarthy added. “It is the speaker who is causing this problem.”

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