Pelosi, Schumer slam Trump’s threatened deportations

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Donald Trump’s threatened coast-to-coast deportations of migrants “outside the circle of civilized human behavior” and the Senate’s top Democrat labeled the warning “the very definition of callousness” on Monday in remarks that underscored the gap between the two sides over immigration.

The two leaders spoke after a weekend tweet in which Trump said he would give Congress two weeks to solve “the Asylum and Loopholes problems” along the border with Mexico. “If not, Deportations start!” he tweeted.

The president had earlier warned that there would soon be a nationwide sweep aimed at “millions” of people living illegally in the U.S., including families. The sweeps were supposed to begin Sunday, but Trump said he postponed them.

Pelosi, D-Calif., said the threatened raids were “appalling” when she was asked about them at an immigration event Monday in Queens, N.Y.

“It is outside the circle of civilized human behavior, just kicking down doors, splitting up families and the rest of that in addition to the injustices that are happening at the border,” she said.

That was a reference to detentions — often in harsh conditions — of people caught entering the country, including children.

She also said that in a Friday phone call to Trump in which she asked him to call off the raids, she told him, “You are scaring the children of America, not just in those families but their neighbors and their communities.”

On the Senate floor, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., described Trump’s “chilling, nasty, obnoxious threats” and said the president “seems far more comfortable terrorizing immigrant families” than addressing immigration problems.

“I mean, my God, to threaten separating children from their parents as a bargaining chip? That’s the very definition of callousness,” Schumer said.

It is not clear exactly what Trump, who has started his 2020 re-election bid, means regarding asylum and loophole changes. He’s long been trying to restrict the numbers of people being allowed to enter the U.S. after claiming asylum and impose other restrictions, a path he’s followed since he began his quest for president years ago.

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