Los Angeles Times: Pelosi, in Los Angeles visit, calls on Congress to pass Dream Act

October 19, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday called on the GOP-controlled Congress to pass the Dream Act by year's end.

Pelosi appeared at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights with community leaders and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients in Los Angeles.

The San Francisco Democrat said she has confidence Republicans and Democrats will be able to work together to pass the Dream Act.

President Trump "said we had shared values when we spoke to him," Pelosi said. "I trust that he will honor that commitment because the American people want him to do so."

The Democratic leader had conversations with Trump about continuing DACA after his "heartless" decision to end the program.

Pelosi said that President Reagan was "great on immigration" and noted his immigration agenda protected a larger percentage of people than President Obama did with his executive order regarding DACA. She added the last three Republican presidents "strongly acknowledged the value of immigration to America."

A majority of the estimated 800,000 immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children live in California.

"These newcomers make America more American," Pelosi said.

She noted there have been a handful of Republicans who support forcing a Dream Act vote via a procedural move. Still, her party is in the minority. "You can have all the conversation in the world that you want, but you've got to have the votes," she said, encouraging moderate Republicans to support the Dream Act.

She was joined by Democratic Reps. Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles, Judy Chu of Monterey Park and Lucille Roybal-Allard of Downey, the first Mexican American woman elected to Congress and original co-author of the Dream Act.

Roybal-Allard said the so-called Dreamers "have lived in this country, they have grown up here, they have pledged allegiance to our flag."

"To do anything else but to protect them by passing the Dream Act is a betrayal and would be a disgrace and a very ugly mark on this country," she said.

Jiho Yu, a DACA recipient who moved from South Korea to Los Angeles at age 5, and a second-year student at Los Angeles City College, said she was hopeful about her status in the future. "I know that our congressmen and -women, they're fighting very hard for us," she said.

Pelosi is in Los Angeles for an event hosted Wednesday night by The Times.