- Thomson Reuters
WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi elaborated on her Wednesday-night dinner with President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, saying that she trusts the president “is sincere and understanding that the public supports” their reported agreement to move forward with the DREAM Act coupled with added border security measures.
“He too wanted to see some border initiatives, which we said we would look into,” Pelosi added, noting that “any solution to the challenges facing the dreamers must include the bipartisan DREAM Act.”
One bill Pelosi touted to Trump would add 5,000 additional customs agents, 5,000 border patrol officers, and allow the National Guard to assist on the border excluding immigration enforcement.
Pelosi said that “no question” a potential package would have enough votes in the House, despite many of the more progressive members of the Democratic caucus wanting nothing but a clean, straight-up DREAM Act, which protects undocumented immigrants who were raised in the United States.
However, the agreement between the Democratic leaders and the president was less formal than they had originally let on. And Trump and Pelosi seem to be contradicting each other on whether a path to citizenship for Dreamers would be included in any agreement.
“It was interpreted by some that we had a deal on the bill. But that wasn’t on the package. That wasn’t the case,” Pelosi noted of the dinner with Trump after he said Thursday that “no deal was made.”
“We had an agreement to move forward,” she added.
In terms of a pathway to citizenship, Pelosi shrugged off the suggestion that it counted as “amnesty.” Pelosi noted that the DREAM Act would include a long-term pathway to citizenship and that “they get way at the end of the line of people who have been here fully documented.”
“It’s a long path,” Pelosi said. “It’s like a 15-year path, and this is an earned path, in other words, in the DREAM Act. It’s an earned path, but it is a long road. … We agreed on our path, which is our insistence in every conversation with the speaker, with the president, with the Dreamers that it will be the DREAM Act sponsored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard.”
But within moments of Pelosi’s remarks, Trump quashed the idea of potential citizenship while on the tarmac in Florida.
“We’re not looking at citizenship,” Trump said. “We’re not looking at amnesty. We’re looking at allowing people to stay here.”
Trump is also insisting that a wall will still be built along the southern border of the US, one of his signature campaign promises, despite Democratic opposition.