Sweeping nationwide raids across the country’s 10 major cities to round up undocumented immigrants and deport them were delayed last week – but they’re now a looming threat once again.
“Unless we do something pretty miraculous,” President Donald Trump said during a news conference after the G-20 summit in Japan, the raids would happen “sometime after July Fourth.”
The original raids were delayed one day before they were slated to begin after Trump gave Congress two weeks to work on asylum laws and the flow of migrants at the southern U.S. border, despite the fact that Congress will be on recess this upcoming week.
But Trump’s timeframe wasn’t enough to get both the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled House to take on immigration laws this week. Due to the recess, there’s virtually no chance Trump’s two-week deadline will be met, according to USA Today.
Trump said that the government “will be removing large numbers of people” and that reforming asylum laws should be easy. Past presidents have struggled to reform the often-complicated asylum system.
“We could do it quickly, we could do it in a day, we could do it in an hour,” Trump said. “We could reform asylum very quickly.”
Trump also used the recent deaths and excruciating images of Salvadoran migrants drowned in the river on the border after they tried to cross in desperation as a reason for tougher laws and a wall.
Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his two-year-old daughter Valeria drowned in the Rio Grande river in Mexico. The photo of the father and daughter face down in the water was published Tuesday by the Associated Press and renewed debate over the U.S. immigration system.
Congress did manage to pass a controversial emergency funding bill to send to the border. The $4.6 billion will help fund migrant detention centers, which were nearly out of money due to the surge of families traveling to the border. The measure passed and is now going to the president’s desk for a signature. Trump is expected to sign.