House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was shouted down by open borders protesters during a Monday press event organized to promote her efforts to work with President Trump to pass a DREAM Act that would benefit illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.
Pelosi was completing her opening remarks when she was literally upstaged by a group of approximately 40 young people calling itself the Immigrants’ Liberation Front. Reportedly carrying banners claiming that “Democrats are Deporters,” group members shouted that “Democrats created an out-of-control deportation machine,” and “Democrats are not the resistance to Trump.”
The interlopers also chanted: “We undocumented youth demand a clean bill … We undocumented youth demand that you do not sell out our community and our values …We undocumented youth will not be a bargaining chip for Trump.”
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) September 18, 2017
At one juncture, the apparent leader of the group seemed to suggest that the fate of all 11 million estimated illegal immigrants in the United States must be addressed.
The “bargaining chip” claim is an apparent reference to the position taken by Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that they would consider pairing a DREAM measure with increased border security while ruling out Trump’s favored border wall as part of the negotiation. Border hawks consider the Democrats’ promise of more border security and enforcement to be a “trick” and not substantially different from the so-called “Gang of Eight” bill that collapsed in 2013.
Pelosi wore a frozen grin as the protestors presented their grievances in the traditionally progressive call-and-response format. She then attempted to bring the event back under control by admiring their passion. Nevertheless, the event crashers persisted, causing the House minority leader to repeatedly request that they “Just stop it. Just stop it now.”
After approximately a half-hour of chanting and shouting, when it became clear that the protesters had no intention of relenting, Pelosi was forced to leave the event, effectively bringing it to a close before California Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman, community leaders, and DREAMers had an opportunity to speak.
Whether the protest represents a progressive sentiment that will impair the ability of Democrats’ congressional leadership to broker a DREAMer deal with President Trump remains to be seen.
Although immigration policy has divided the Republican caucuses in both the House and Senate, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has said he would not demand border wall funding be tied to DREAMer legislation. Conversely, Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D-AZ), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, claimed that the “vast majority of the progressive caucus” supports shutting down the government if any bill fails to meet their demands. Democrats are also considering using a discharge petition to bring a DREAM Act directly to the House floor for a vote.
Words can’t capture how funny it’ll be if open-borders fans blow up the DREAM deal with Trump ready and willing to sell out
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) September 18, 2017
Watch part of this ironic confrontation below: