March 19th, 2009
03:52 PM ET
13 years ago

Pelosi stands by immigration raid remarks

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she was standing by her statement that enforcement of some existing immigration laws is 'un-American.' "](CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she was standing by her statement that enforcement of some existing immigration laws is "un-American."

"ICE raids that separate parents from their children in the middle of the night are un-American, and I stand by that," Pelosi said when questioned about her remarks made last week at an immigration rally in San Francisco.

"We have to enforce our laws, we have to control our borders..." the California congresswoman told reporters. "We have to protect our workers, we have to, I believe, have a path to legalization for people who are in our country who are not fully documented. But we don't have to kick in doors in the middle of the night and take fathers out of their homes and think that we are solving the issue when we really need comprehensive immigration reform."

On Saturday, at an immigration rally in San Francisco, Pelosi criticized the practice of work site and housing raids conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Pelosi praised the predominantly immigrant audience, calling them "very, very patriotic" for "taking responsibility for country's future" by attending the rally on a Saturday night

"Who in this country would not want to change a policy of kicking in doors in the middle of the night and sending a parent away from their families," Pelosi said Saturday. "It must be stopped. What value system is that? I think it's un-American. I think it's un-American."

Filed under: Immigration • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Jackie in Dallas

    While normally I think Nancy Pelosi is full of hot air, I do believe that she is right in this respect. Midnight raids that tear families apart is not the answer to illegal immigration, total immigration reform IS. Now whether she and I would agree on what constitutes that reform is an open debate.

    CK, yes illegal immigrants (learn to spell and the rules of grammar - what are you, 12?) are UNAMERICAN - they are that by definition. But I have seen some illegals who are doing more to help their American communities that the Americans are doing.

    The question of legal vs illegal immigration is something that has long been a point of contention, and really has no easy answers. This is especially true considering that what the first Americans did could DEFINITELY be considered illegal immigration where we displaced and stole the land of a multitude of indigenous people who had every right to their stay on their own lands. Many of our ancestors probably came over in immigration waves, some of which were clearly illegal to our modern definitions.

    The real culprits here are not the people trying to make a living, but the companies who are knowingly hiring them, using their vulnerability to make them work outside the rules for safety, wages, and benefits.

    That being said, however, I'm NOT in favor of illegal immigration, and I'm also not in favor of letting one ethnic group dictate the second official language of this country. I'm frankly tired of having everything in English and Spanish - our official language is English. If you want to live here, work here, raise your family here, learn the language. The Germans, the original Spanish, the French, the immigrants from every country, European, Asian, African who have moved here learned; it is time the nuevo Hispanic did, too!

    March 19, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. J.P.

    yes, those people aren't criminals or law breakers or anything like that... Nancy likes to think of them as "future Democrat voters."

    March 19, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Kelly

    Everything spewing from her idiotic mouth shows the contempt she has for this nation and our founding fathers.

    March 19, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Sita

    I am a legal immigrant. I pay all my taxes and I feel bad when I see that my tax money goes for the food stamps for the illegal immigrants here in AZ.
    I never have violated any laws here but I am threatened by a lot of illegals here. I am afraid of them. This is America, I should not be afraid of anybody.
    To stay here, every 2 years, I painstakingly apply for visa, go back to my country, get the visa and then come back.
    I feel sad upon hearing these comments coming out of representative who are there to uphold the law.

    Am I encouraged to become an illegal immigrant and produce babies?

    March 19, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. J.P.

    Hells bells, at the rate the Dems are going, Republicans won't have to spend a dime in to sweep 2010!

    Keep talking, Nancy, keep talking! You're doing great!

    March 19, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Mark in Polk City

    Good for Nancy. I agree that these laws could be enforced without those tactics. The tactics she denounces are not the actions of a compassionate society.

    March 19, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Nita

    She needs to go.
    I became legal after years of hard work and paying taxes all through.
    Now I feel that being illegal is better. No taxes + get welfare.
    produce babies and get added bonus.

    March 19, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. David in Dallas

    It's hard to believe that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the USA is so intent on protecting criminals. She should have never been elected Speaker in the first place; but, now surely my party, the Democrats, can see what a danger she is and remove her from her leadership position. She is an embarrasment to US patriots and citizens with common sense.

    March 19, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. ton

    She is right. It was ok while we were cleaning your homes & doing your lawns & taking care of your Children. Illegal learn how to spell, not like most of this "Americans"

    March 19, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Eric Beck

    Jeez, you look at this board, and it's frigthening. SO many morons. "ck" is a favorite, wherein they say, "I think an ILLEGAL IMMAGRANT is JUST as UNAMERICAN." So is ignorance, ck. Go learn how to spell....Of course, Pelosi is absolutely right. We trot our kids through schools, teach them we are a nation of higher ideals, and then behave like Nazi's. She has explicitly said multiple times that we have to protect our borders. Good enough for me. She understands the problem. She also understands that kicking down doors and separating kids from parents will only compund problems, generate deep resentment, and inhibit cooperation among all parties involved. This problem will not be solved by force alone.

    March 19, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Taxpayer101

    I think Pelosi should be brought up on charges for trying to overthrow the government if she continues to preach that the laws of this country are illegal and unpatriotic. As high as our unemployment is, we need to keep the jobs that are available filled with our citizens, not illegals. With Pelosi leading all the news in the last few months, Democrats are getting a really bad reputation. I don't understand why she keeps getting elected when she is such an idiot.

    March 19, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Olivia

    Not most but I believe almost ALL Americans want laws to be enforced. However, in enforcing our laws we should be more compasionate and do not lose the human side of this problem. Use the reason and spirit of the law and find better and civilized ways to enforce the law. A midnight arrest kicking doors to deport fathers is not very different the way how presumptive whicht hunts used to be arrested and executed duirng the middle age. Americans are much better than that.

    To all those who criticize Pelosi for her recent words– I don't like her much either– ask yourselves "What will Jesus do?" "Will Jesus deport anybody kicking doors in the middle of the night?"

    March 19, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Chris - Seattle

    I just thought of a perfect solution too, why don't we just annex Mexico and call it part of America, especially since they're in the top three of our trade partners and America belonged to them first anyway! So take that apple and chew on it for a while!

    March 19, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Ghost

    Well, here's a liberal that disagrees with her. Nobody seems to have a problem kicking in anyone else's doors. With no-knock warrants and the like. And ICE ain't the only ones raiding anything.

    Although I feel for the family and what not, nobody seems to care for the families that lose a parent due to a theft conviction. Same thing here. Sned the whole family back and any citizen kids can come back when the are 18.

    March 19, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Audrey

    The Dems have also promised not to exclude illegals when they dole out jobs for stimulus projects. So much for hope and change for the out of work taxpaying Americans.

    March 19, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Peter E

    With all due respect, that parent was the one who broke the law and risked his family being torn apart. Heck, the vast majority of them left their family behind and then later begged us to let them into the country. It is THEY who are tearing their family apart, not us!

    March 19, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Honestlady

    I agree with Ms.Pelosi. She definitely does have a point.

    March 19, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. thomas

    These raids are textbook Gestapo tactics and they have no place in the enforcement of minor offenses. They're great for adding drama and color to law enforcement but totally unnecessary for crimes of this nature, not to mention the added element of danger and risk to life and property. There are many other ways to enforce immigration crimes without violating peoples rights and without conducting illegal searches and seizures.

    March 19, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. The Last Patriot

    Really there should be Mexican flags behind that smiling face.

    March 19, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Duke Caruthers

    Well, isn't that something? Months back when Sen McCain was pushing the immigration reform bill, Pelosi was dead set against it. She didn't want the republican president to have the opportunity to sign a reform bill, so she publicly fought it. Now she wants change so a democrat president can have the opportunity to sign off on it. What a nasty woman!

    March 19, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. jackie brown

    What is un-American is the fact that we are facing a calamity never faced before at this megnitude. Kick the doors in and remove the entire family that is here illegally. They are having babies for that very reason. Ironically, African American fathers were torn from their families by "The State Welfare Department"in order to feed and house their families, they had to move. See, they were discrimated against in the workforce because of the color of their skin. Ms. Pelosi, now that was un American and is still going on.

    March 19, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Fan of Common Sense

    So enforcing the law is now "unamerican." Nothing this DINGBAT says surprises me anymore. When a democrat sees a parasitic illegal alien, they see a potential vote for the DNC.

    March 19, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    What part of BROKEN IMMIGRATION LAWS don't you people understand?

    March 19, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Gerda Edwards

    So apparently Speaker Pelosi and her ilk on th eleft would also agree with this statement–
    "DEA raids that separate parents from their children in the middle of the night are un-American."

    Start representing the interests of citizens, and protecting the Constitution, as you swore to do. Sheesh. The Dems are self-destructing, just like the Repubs did when they were given all the power by the voters. Time to wipe the slate clean and vote every incumbent out of office.

    March 19, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Sandy

    NOT enforcing our laws and protecting our workers is "un-american".

    Americans cannot compete with the cheap labor that comes here and works for pennies on the dollar, living 5 families to a house.

    How do you think we are supposed to enforce the laws?? Yes, it does involve raids, it does involve checking on businesses to make sure they are following the law, and sometimes it has to be in the middle of the night. What are they supposed to do, send an invitation first?

    When you have business reporting 40 or more workers with the same SSN, don't you think the KNOW what they're doing?

    March 19, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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