In the House of Representatives, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California held the floor for a record-breaking eight hours Wednesday to call on lawmakers to protect immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children—the so-called DREAMers.
Rep Nancy Pelosi: “There’s nothing partisan or political about protecting DREAMers. If a DREAM Act were brought to the floor, it would pass immediately with strong bipartisan support. And I commend my Republican colleagues for their courage in speaking out on this. Yet our DREAMers hang in limbo with a cruel cloud of fear and uncertainty above them. The Republican moral cowardice must end.”
Illinois Congressmember Luis Gutiérrez warned Pelosi it would be a “complete betrayal” if she supports any spending deal that doesn’t include an extension of DACA—the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—which is due to expire in March. Pelosi’s eight-hour speech came after White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly blasted young immigrants as “lazy,” telling reporters, “There are 690,000 official DACA registrants, and the president sent over what amounts to be two-and-a-half times that number, to 1.8 million. The difference between (690,000) and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t sign up.”