Pelosi Remarks at Press Event to Demand That Congressional Republicans Protect DACA Recipients, Pass the DREAM Act
Contact: Ashley Etienne/Henry Connelly, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House and Senate Democrats to urge Congressional Republicans to stand up to President Trump's heartbreaking, cruel decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative by bringing the DREAM Act for a vote on the House and Senate Floor. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
Leader Pelosi Opening Remarks
Leader Pelosi. “Good morning everyone, thank you all for being here! We wanted to be on the steps of the Capitol and we will do this again soon, we’ll do it constantly until we pass the DREAM Act.
“It’s an honor to be here with Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, a champion on this issue, the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the House, Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Senator Dick Durbin who at least for 15-16 years, is it? Senator Durbin has been a champion of the DREAMers as he first introduced his bill in 2001 even before 9/11, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard who’s been a champion on this issue and now serves as the Ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security [Appropriations Subcommittee], where she again continues her work to be vigilant in protecting our DREAMers.
“We have newcomers to the Congress, Senator Kamala Harris of California, Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas, slightly newcomer, and Senator [Catherine] Cortez Masto bringing new invigoration and new energy to their districts from their states to this important issue.
“We all agree that President Trump’s decision to end DACA is a despicable act of political cowardice. Cowardice squared because he gave the announcement to his Attorney General, instead of just making the statement himself. And now he says Congress should act. He had to overturn what President Obama did because it wasn’t constitutional or legal, thank you. But if Congress doesn’t act, he may do that, unconstitutional and illegal as that may be.
“As I turn over to our special guests here and I’m so pleased that so many Members of the House and Senate are here, let me just say this: President Trump is the first President in thirty years, so let’s just go back to Reagan, we can go back further, President Reagan not only acted, he acted after Congress acted and he said, ‘Congress did not go far enough.’
“So then he and then to-become President George Herbert Walker Bush did the Family Fairness Agenda to do more than Congress did. President Clinton followed suit, George W. Bush was a great immigration President and we know President Obama was a great leader, especially concerned about our DREAMers.
“So this is the first President in the lives of these DREAMers who has been anti-immigration, rejecting the idea that immigration is the lifeblood of the country, the constant reinvigoration of America and that every newcomer comes to America with hopes, dreams, aspirations and optimism and courage: it makes America more American.
“In that spirit, I am pleased to yield to the distinguished Democratic Leader of the Senate, Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer.”
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Leader Pelosi Closing Remarks
Leader Pelosi. “I thank all of our colleagues, from our distinguished visitors from the United States Senate, to my colleagues in the House. We did pass in the House the DREAM Act in 2010 under the leadership of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
“Today again under the leadership of Congresswoman [Michelle] Lujan Grisham, the caucus is taking the lead. But they are working with our [Asian Pacific American Caucus] under the leadership of [Congresswoman] Judy Chu and the Congressional Black Caucus under the leadership of [Congressman] Cedric Richmond.
“And I do know one thing, in the Senate they passed comprehensive immigration reform, we passed the DREAM Act. We couldn’t pass each other’s house – now is the time, long overdue, to get it done.
“I know if our Whip Steny Hoyer has his way, we will have 100% of the House Democrats voting for this. Thank you, Steny, for that! Thank you very much.”
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