Pelosi Remarks at Meeting with Rio Grande Valley Officials Today

July 24, 2014
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi met with officials from the Rio Grande Valley and Members of the House Democratic Texas Delegation to discuss solutions to the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children along our southern border.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Good afternoon.  Thank you all for being here.  This is a very important meeting for us to hear from you what we can do, working together in the best interest of the children.  I thank you for the leadership that you are providing.  I’ve seen first-hand the impact that you’ve made.  I’m pleased to be joined by the Chair of the Hispanic Caucus and a Representative from the border, Chairman Hinojosa, and Congressman Vela – at whose invitation I visited Brownsville, and a leader on this issue – and Beto O’Rourke, also from El Paso, another border representative.

“Everybody wanted to be here to meet.  But we thought we would have it be border Representatives.  We met earlier this morning with the President of Honduras and the President of Guatemala and a representative for the President of El Salvador to see their description of the crisis.  When we were in Brownsville and when we were at the border, we had one recurring theme.  And that was: this is a crisis that presents an opportunity.

“We have to deal with it, honoring our values in the most humanitarian way.  We have to deal with it, honoring the due process of the children.  We have to deal with it in a way that protects our border and again has consideration for how – if these children are returned, that it is done, again, in the best interest of the children – the determination of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

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Q:  Leader Pelosi, there have been a number of Republicans that have criticized President Obama for continuing with his fundraising while there’s the issue of the border – 

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you.  I’m going to have a press conference tomorrow and I’ll take any questions you have.

Q:  Congresswoman, can I get any reactions you have to House Republicans’ border plan that they released yesterday?

Leader Pelosi.  I haven’t seen it yet.  I haven’t seen what they said they think they can pass.  But maybe we’ll know more tomorrow.  I look forward to answering your question tomorrow.  But we want to be able to meet the humanitarian needs, give due process to the children in a way – have the resources to have the border patrol but also the funding for the State Department to help with repatriation back into their country of origin should that be the decision that is made in each of their cases.   So I look forward to seeing what the amount is – hopefully with no offsets, hopefully with no language that changes immigration law.  Because the most important thing that we can do to use this crisis as an opportunity is to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  Thank you.