Pelosi Remarks at Bicameral Press Event on Supreme Court Oral Arguments in DACA Case
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined a bicameral press conference with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the plaintiffs in today’s Supreme Court case on the Trump Administration’s effort to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, calling on the Republican Senate to pass H.R. 6, The American Dream and Promise Act. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you Mr. Chairman, and thank you for bringing us all together, so that we can say thank you to our Dreamers for making America more American with their hopes, optimism, courage, determination to make the future better for their families, and for that we are grateful to their parents. Please thank your parents for us, as mentioned by Antonio, for giving us the opportunity to have you in our country.
I’m honored to be here with the distinguished Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Mr. Castro; with the godmother of the Dream Act, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Chairman now of the Homeland Security Subcommittee; to be with our distinguished Attorney General of California, our former colleague and a champion of this issue in the Congress now in the courts, Xavier Bacerra; Whip Durbin. I don’t know if he is here, but he has dedicated a good deal of his official life on behalf of the Dreamers, because he knows that what’s good for the Dreamers is good for America.
Others have been here — Senator Menendez, Assistant Speaker Luján, Senator Cortez Masto, Representative Sanchez, and I just want to acknowledge also, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, Congresswoman Barragán, Congressman Carbajal, Congressman Correa and Congressman Chuy Garcia, among others who have joined us now.
Now, here we are on this day that should be a very hopeful one for our country where the Supreme Court of the United States will make a decision to either cause pain or find a solution by upholding what we think is the right thing to do.
Just to put it into perspective, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan — this is not a partisan issue – President Reagan, when he was President, after the Congress passed the comprehensive immigration bill of 1986, he said to Congress, ‘You didn’t go far enough,’ and he instituted Family Fairness, which protected a higher percentage of people and newcomers to our country than the President Obama’s DACA order — a higher percentage, if your Congress had acted. He said, ‘We should do more.’ He, President George Herbert Walker Bush, President Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Obama all subscribed to that except this President, which is so sad.
And, now this Court has to decide, as to whether President Obama was correct in following the lead of President Reagan in protecting newcomers in our country, or to support the illicit act of President Trump and what he did.
We urge the Court to support the lower courts’ decisions on this. We urge the Court to do that. And, as Justice Sotomayor talked about this morning about, ‘How much pain would they cause in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in our county?’
This is an important day and we hope and pray that the courts will do the right thing, the all-American thing.
However, at the same time, we are going over to the Senate – I invite my colleagues to join me, as we are going over to the Senate to bring to Leader McConnell, H.R. 6.
If I just may? H.R. 6 was passed over 160 days ago. The American Dream and Promise Act, which, of course, is a remedy to our Dreamers and our Temporary Protected Status newcomers, relatively newcomers, to our country.
This is a bill that has passed. It has overwhelming support, as has been mentioned. Dellara mentioned that, and Esmeralda, in her beautiful statement, and Antonio. They are a manifestation of the greatness of our Dreamers, but also of the support that they have in our country and in the communities in which they live.
So, again, my colleagues, we are – only Members of Congress are allowed to, with other, with the Senators, only are allowed to march over with this. For some reason, the rules do not allow our Dreamers to march with us, but – but, but, I mean, people walk down the hall all the time, right?
In any event, in any event, this is a time of great – we see everything as an opportunity. And this Dream Act, as we saw on the Capitol – the steps of the Supreme Court this morning, hundreds of young people turning out, and friends, to support them. And one of the signs that I loved – all of them were wonderful, ‘Home Is Here’ being one of them – but one of the signs, it said, ‘You might say I’m a Dreamer, but I’m not the only one.’
Well, we want you to know that you’re not the only ones being Dreamers, we have dreams for you, as well. And we hopefully intend to act upon them, until – as Senator, Leader Schumer said earlier, ‘We’re not going away until the job is done.’
So, thank you. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for dreaming, because that is part of what America is.
Thank you all very much, and thank you, Mr. Chairman again.
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