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Pelosi, in Queens, criticizes postponed immigration raids

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls President Trump's plan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls President Trump's plan to round up illegal immigrants 'outside the circle of civilized human behavior.' Credit: EPA / Jim Lo Scalzo

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday in Queens renewed her call to religious leaders to condemn President Donald Trump’s now-postponed immigration raids, calling such policy “outside the circle of civilized human behavior.”

Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the planned roundups of people living in the country illegally should appall everyone who believes all humans are “children of God.”

“If we all believe in the dignity and worth of every person – there’s a spark of divinity in every person that must be respected – how can we tolerate this kind of behavior in the United States of America?” she asked.

Pelosi spoke with Trump on Friday night and asked him to delay the raids. On Saturday, he said he was giving Congress two weeks to hammer out a plan to address asylum and border security.

“If not, Deportations start!” the president tweeted.

Pelosi, visiting Elmhurst Hospital Center with Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) on Monday, said she had appealed to the president as a mother and grandmother.

“Children are scared,” she said she told him. “You’re scaring the children of America.”

She added that she believed members of the Evangelical community also helped to persuade Trump to put off the raids by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE.

“They may have had some influence on the president as well,” Pelosi told reporters. “Now, we need to keep that drumbeat going.”

Evangelical leaders, who support Trump on many other fronts, have said the country’s refugee resettlement program is the “crown jewel of American humanitarianism,” Pelosi said.

The speaker noted that the raids had been set to begin on Sunday, a day of worship, and people of faith would have gone to church not knowing what they would come home to.

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