McCarthy pins ICE raids on Pelosi inaction

McCarthy pins ICE raids on Pelosi inaction
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants History in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week EU official in Canada says he feels 'at home' there because no one was shouting 'send him back' MORE (R-Calif.) partially blamed Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi, Mnuchin reach 'near-final agreement' on budget, debt ceiling Wendy Davis launches bid for Congress in Texas Steyer calls on Pelosi to cancel 'six-week vacation' for Congress MORE (D-Calif.) for the reported impending deportation raids, saying that the Speaker has not taken enough action to tighten asylum laws.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, McCarthy said the raids, which The New York Times reported are set to begin this Sunday, are going forward because President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE has not seen appropriate Congressional action.

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Trump delayed the planned raids last month in order to give lawmakers additional time to pass legislation tightening asylum laws, a policy House Democrats strongly oppose. McCarthy argued Thursday that Democrats have not used that time to take any steps toward changing laws.

“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,” he added.

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

The raids, which were initially planned for last month, are expected to take place in 10 major cities nationwide, according to reports. It is estimated that they will affect up to 2,000 immigrants. 

McCarthy also backed the expected raids, saying it is an appropriate action to deport those who “either received a deportation order from a judge or failed to appear before a judge.”

“We are a rule of law country and this is following the rule of law,” McCarthy said at the press conference. 

McCarthy said while he doesn’t know the exact timing of the raids, it should not come as a surprise to those affected.