WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said violating America’s immigration laws is not reason for deportation.
The California Democrat made the comments at a “Speaker of the House” event in New York while referencing a phone call she had with President Donald Trump. The president later delayed much publicized plans to begin mass deportations after the pair spoke.
“So when I spoke to the president, I said ‘Look, I’m a mom, I have five kids, …nine grandchildren, and children are scared,” Pelosi said. “‘You’re scaring the children of America. Not just those families, but their neighbors and their communities. You’re scaring the children.’”
“I said a violation of status is not a reason for deportation, that’s just not so,” Pelosi continued. “If you have some case you want to make about somebody who’s been accused… that has nothing to do with violation of status, because then we’re talking about over 10 million people who may be subjected to this treatment, and what we need there is comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.”
“When I saw the president was going to have these raids, it’s so appalling, it’s outside the realm of civilized human behavior, just kicking down doors and splitting up families in addition to the injustices that are happening at the border,” Pelosi added. “We have legislation to go forward to address those needs. But in terms of interior enforcement, what’s the point?”
The president took a great deal of heat from his Republican base after deciding to delay deportations as he works to come to a compromise with Democrats on illegal immigration.
Securing the nation’s border was a key topic of his 2016 presidential election. The matter is expected to remain the focus of his 2020 bid for re-election.