Pelosi changes position on border bill
July 16th, 2014
05:22 PM ET
4 months ago

Pelosi changes position on border bill

Washington (CNN) – Under pressure from Hispanic lawmakers and outside immigration advocates House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has changed her position on a key flashpoint in the debate over the border crisis.

Pelosi indicated Wednesday she opposes altering a 2008 immigration law that would expedite the deportation of children crossing the southwest border from Central American countries.

Just last week Pelosi said adding that change to a border funding bill was "not a deal breaker." But on Wednesday she came out against a bipartisan bill sponsored by Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar and Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn to modify the 2008 law. Their proposal would eliminate part of the anti-human trafficking law that mandates all unaccompanied minors not from Mexico or Canada who enter the United States illegally get a hearing before an immigration judge before being returned home.

Pelosi's spokesman released a statement saying "Leader Pelosi opposes this legislation as it is not in furtherance of due process for these children."

But the statement also suggested Pelosi could accept some type of modification, adding, “if any changes to the 2008 law are made, they must ensure due process for these children.”

The GOP-led House is expected to consider a pared-down spending bill from the $3.7 billion package the White House requested to address the border situation. Republican leaders plan to attach changes to the 2008 law to that funding bill.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, told reporters the Congressional Hispanic Caucus would tell President Barack Obama at a White House meeting on Wednesday they would vote against his request for border money if that policy change is included.

Asked if their opposition jeopardizes the administration's ability to get the money it argues is an emergency, Castro said "I can’t guess on the vote total yet, there are 435 members, but there are many Democrats who feel as if the kids should get their day in court."

Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, told reporters that he, along with several immigration advocacy groups, met with Pelosi recently to discuss their strong opposition to the Cuellar-Cornyn bill, and urge leaders to oppose it.

Some Hispanic members are expressing frustration that the White House floated the idea that it would include a change in the law as part of its $3.7 billion request for emergency money. It didn't, but administration officials, like Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, continue to say they support Congress altering the law.

"The mixed messages – at least for the Hispanic Caucus – kind of made us feel like we were standing alone," Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, told CNN.

Grijalva said seeing the Cuellar-Cornyn legislation on paper helped rally outside groups and progressive and Hispanic caucus Democrats to draw the line and oppose any effort to tie any emergency border money to a provision to change the 2008 law. "It was so bad that is helped.”

The Arizona Democrat said he and others feel protecting the law is more important that approving the money that the President wants to address the situation at the border.

"The girding underneath this whole issue is race, and that's becoming more of a unifying issue in the Hispanic community because they see this – whether you are third, fourth, fifth, sixth generation – the treatment, the demonizing of these children, the whole ugly debate around immigration, is for some citizens, it's also a civil rights issue."


Filed under: Immigration • Nancy Pelosi • White House
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. an Iowan

    Obviously GW Bush and Congress had no idea what they were doing when they signed the law that started this influx!
    Yet somehow this became Obama's fault???????

    July 16, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. yolanda

    Gov. O'Malley wishes to thank you Ms. Pelosi, because you now have the honor of being the most recent person to speak with forked tongue on this issue, as Native American Elizabeth Warren would say.

    July 16, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Chris..E.al

    Every dem in D.C. should be force to baby sit about 2o illegals just like they try to force us to accept them it would not be so bad if they was.nt just doing it for a vote just like they do many inside this nation 48 million on foodstamps now and going up all along keeping the rich job creators in limbo on the threat of higher taxes or the luxury of expanding the business to make jobs see dems do want to keep you poor with their crumbs and alternative motives .

    July 16, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Democrats are not interested in fixing the problem. Come on in....

    July 16, 2014 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @yolanda
    Gov. O'Malley wishes to thank you Ms. Pelosi, because you now have the honor of being the most recent person to speak with forked tongue on this issue, as Native American Elizabeth Warren would say.
    -------------
    An intelligent person changing her position is not double speak. Smart people reassess sometimes. She is listening to people of America giving her input. What would you have her do. Not listen to people and cling blindly to an ideology as the GOP is doing?

    July 16, 2014 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. Bigd

    Republicans that are blocking the money to send these kids home should have to house them

    July 16, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Why won't GW Bush just come out and say it wasn't his IDEA ?

    If we invade Central America and save them from the evil drug lords , we can consider them refuges , and welcome them with open arms

    We could call it Operation Central Freedom !

    July 16, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    Chris-E
    "Rich job creators kept in limbo on threat of higher taxes"???? You might want to bother yourself to read a little history. Back in the 50's and 60's taxes on this group you laughingly call "job creators" was around 80%. Because of this our nation was one of the strongest in the world with an unbeatable military. these "job creators" at that time could keep their money by investing it back in their company by growing it. Employing more, increasing business.....not moving it over seas where you could pay people a quarter an hour, and rape other countries natural resources. Then came trickle down which has worked diligently at destroying the middle class, and started class warfare. Now they keep their money in Cayman Island accounts, and guess who benefits from that.....Read a little history.

    July 16, 2014 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. anthony

    to the stupid liberals, this law was from clinton and renewed under bush and renewed again under obama last year. somehow the stupid liberals said it is bush law. and one more important thing it isntn matter who sign it, what ever happen now the current president hold responsibility

    July 16, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  10. anthony

    whoever in congress like illegals that much just send them to their district just as san francisco to pelosi and illinois to durbin.

    July 16, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. MaryM

    Beside the 2008 GWB law , there are also U.S. Laws for ALL individuals that are seeking refuge in the U.S. for persecution from their government OR from groups their government CANT CONTROL !! Those people also need to go before A U.S. JUDGE !

    July 16, 2014 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. herky01

    "Leader Pelosi"? What kind of stuff is this? How about Congresswoman, and that's a stretch.

    July 16, 2014 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  13. george t hibbs

    I'd say Pelosi is quite irrelevant right about now.

    July 16, 2014 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  14. bf

    Vote all Dems out!

    July 16, 2014 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. Robert Walters

    How many will Nancy adopt or provide personal money to take care of them for Life? My bet is nothing, just her mouth runs to keep her self in office. She stands for nothing, a useless politician as always.

    July 16, 2014 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. R.D. Iden

    Every governor that has any bus load of these illegals arrive in their state should immediately buy them another bus ride to Washington DC and then bill Congress.

    July 16, 2014 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  17. hannah

    Drop Dead Obama. You are a con artist to the nth degree. Pathetic and you have desecrated so much goodness in America. How can any half intelligent Senator fall for this little scheme of his? Seriously. Read the flippin 2008 William Wilberforce act as written and try to convince me these aliens from Central America qualify as trafficked victims. It's B.S! And 3.7 Billion!? Are you Senators insane. These aliens go back and no more flippin lying schemes to try to pump and dump them here.

    July 16, 2014 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  18. sonnie3

    Obama could secure the boarder any time he pleases/ he just don't want to. Peeloosie is just one more anti American person in high office. She needs to go and real soon. It is all about which way the wind is blowing on a given day and that is where she stands. She ain't got a moral bone in her body as she is all about power and control.

    July 16, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  19. sonnie3

    Pelosi don't want to cure the problem, But wants to drag it on for pure political reasons. What a shame this pelosi is.

    July 16, 2014 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. bf

    Intelligence papers show no spike in violence in these countries. They are coming because Obama said he would not send children back. Dems don't want the law changed and they have no intension of sending them back. So they still want us to pay millions of dollars to take care of them. Every one knows they will not show up for the hearings and very little of the money goes for securing the border. The Dems don't care about the American people just the Hispanic vote.

    July 16, 2014 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  21. America1st

    Bush signed the Law, the Republicans passed this 2010 law. The REPUBLICAN AUTHORED INVASION OF THE US now begun.

    July 16, 2014 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  22. America1st

    More of Bush' Brain.

    July 16, 2014 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  23. Thom

    OMG....The GOP is shooting itself in the foot once more......... Latinos are going to do whatever they can now to get as many of you out of office...... Don't you all understand that the Hispanic population in the USA is growing by leaps and bounds each year, and even Gerrymandering won't help you fairly soon. There's a saying....if you can't beat em' join em'.. It will be the Mexican people soon that say " Remember the Alamo..........as the state of Texas turns BLUE and the Democrats own the 5 largest electoral states in the country....THEN what will you do???

    July 16, 2014 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. Patriot

    It may be distressing to do it, but all illegal immigrant children must be returned to their point of origin, just the same as with the adults. This is a matter of national security.

    July 17, 2014 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  25. Bobby

    What!! Since when do "hispanics" CONTROL U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY??

    July 17, 2014 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
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