House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi staged a record-breaking, eight-hour speech in hopes of pressuring Republicans to allow a vote on protecting “Dreamer” immigrants — and to demonstrate to increasingly angry progressives and Democratic activists that she has done all she could.
Wearing four-inch heels and forgoing any breaks, Pelosi, 77, spent much of the rare talkathon Wednesday reading personal letters from the young immigrants whose temporary protection from deportation is set to expire next month. The California Democrat quoted from the Bible and Pope Francis, as Democrats took turns sitting behind her in support. The Office of the House Historian said it was the longest continuous speech in the chamber on record.
“You see, these people are being deported,” Pelosi said around hour six. “We can do something today to at least make whole the children.”
Her remarks seemed partly aimed at the liberal wing of Pelosi’s own party, who seethed as Senate Democrats cut a budget deal with Republicans that could quickly steal the momentum behind the effort to resolve the Dreamers’ plight.
The wide-ranging budget accord says nothing about renewing the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, called DACA, which temporarily shields Dreamers — hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country as children and living here illegally — from deportation. President Donald Trump has moved to annul DACA. (AP)
Here’s a look at protests around the country in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs.