SALT LAKE CITY — Amid President Donald Trump's recent threats that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will begin mass immigration deportations in the coming weeks, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski doubled down on her pledge that police officers in Utah's capital city will not take part.
"Over two years ago, (Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown) and I made it clear that SLCPD officers would not enforce federal immigration policy or inquire about immigration status," Biskupski tweeted Sunday. "As Washington leaders threaten once again, we reiterate this pledge which keeps #SLC safe."
More than two years ago, Biskupski and the chief pledged safety for immigrantsdespite Trump's executive order for a border wall and cut to federal funds to "sanctuary cities." At the time, they said the executive order brought confusion and fear and would strain public trust of Salt Lake City's police department.
Biskupski has directed Brown not to cooperate with ICE during immigration operations, and Salt Lake police officers don't inquire about immigration status.
The mayor reiterated that stance Sunday amid growing national tension over illegal immigrant deportations. Trump's latest moves to put pressure on illegal immigration has sparked fear among Utah's immigration community.
"(Salt Lake City's) policy ensures that immigrants in our community can feel comfortable engaging with SLCPD, including reporting crimes," Biskupski tweeted. "Sowing fear in a community is no way to govern."
Biskupski's comments come after Trump ordered a mass deportation operation that would have started Sunday, but he postponed the operation Saturday for two weeks to "see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the asylum and loophole problems at the southern border," the president tweeted.
"If not, Deportations start!" Trump tweeted.
The president said the deportations would target people that have already been ordered to be deported.
"The people that Ice will apprehend have already been ordered to be deported," Trump tweeted. "This means that they have run from the law and run from the courts. These are people that are supposed to go back to their home country. They broke the law by coming into the country, & now by staying."
Trump's delay of the operations came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Trump on Friday asking him to call off the raids. But three administration officials said scrapping the operation was not just about politics. They said ICE leaders had expressed serious concerns that officers’ safety would be in jeopardy because too many details about the raids had been made public, according to the Associated Press.
"I want to give the Democrats every last chance to quickly negotiate simple changes to Asylum and Loopholes," Trump tweeted. "This will fix the Southern Border, together with the help that Mexico is now giving us. Probably won’t happen, but worth a try. Two weeks and big Deportation begins!