Pelosi ‘Not Giving Up’ Hope of Partnering with Trump on Immigration

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses guests at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Washington in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS)

House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she is holding out hope Democrats and President Trump can work together on immigration reform, which she said “has to happen.”

“It’s complicated, but it isn’t hard to do if you have good intentions,” Pelosi said at Democrats’ 2019 Issues Conference in Virginia. “And I’m not giving up on the president on this.”

“I still say to him, ‘We’ve got to have comprehensive immigration reform,’” she added.

Pelosi’s comments came just a day after Trump called her party’s approach to immigration “treasonous.”

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Democrats have long opposed Trump’s proposal for a concrete wall along the country’s southern border, a difference that caused the record-breaking 35-day partial government shutdown in December and January when the party refused to approve the $5.7 billion Trump had requested for construction of the wall.

Despite her optimism about the possibility of a bipartisan deal on immigration, the Democratic speaker, who represents the border state of California, had strong words for the president about his rhetoric and emphasized the economic benefit of accepting immigrants into the country.

“The constant reinvigoration of America depends on us having comprehensive immigration reform where we respect the value of newcomers to our country,” she said. “The president is a fear monger. He fueled the flame of insecurity about globalization, about immigration and all that in the campaign. But if the economy is better for many of these people, I think that that fear tactic would be diminished.”

Pelosi also disputed Trump’s assertion, made during a visit to the border last Friday, that the U.S. is “full.”

“The system is full, can’t take you any more,” Trump said. “I’m sorry, we’re full.”

“When the president said — what did he say? — ‘We don’t have no room?’ My God, I thought it was Mary and Joseph at Christmas. We have no room? There is no room in the inn? What is this?” Pelosi said. “Of course there’s room, and there’s need.”

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