Pelosi On Dem. DHS Filibuster: ‘It’s Not A Question Of Protecting Illegal People In Our Country’

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is pushing back against the suggestion that Democrats are risking a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security in order to protect illegal immigrants.

“It’s not a question of protecting illegal people in our country. It’s a question of respecting the authority of the president of the United States to do — did you hear anything from them when Reagan, President Bush, President George W. Bush, one of the greatest champions for immigration reform in our country, when he did this,” Pelosi asked reporters Thursday.

“So this is not a reason. This is an excuse,” she added.

Senate Democrats have filibustered a House-passed DHS appropriations bill that would block Obama’s executive amnesty — which provides legal status and work permits for millions of illegal immigrants — three times. And the path forward in the funding fight remains unclear.

According to Pelosi, however, it is up to Republicans to bring up a “clean” DHS spending bill, or one free of riders defunding Obama’s executive orders, to the floor.

“Republicans should stop holding our homeland security hostage and bring forward a clean long-term funding bill immediately,” she said.

Pelosi rejected the idea that a short-term continuing resolution would be an “end” to the stalemate. The “end” must be a clean bill, she argued.

“A two-month CR is a continuation of uncertainty and they ought to just face the fact that the president has the right to do what he has done by executive action, he has the right in the law, by legal authority as well as by precedent of other presidents,” she said.

Instead Pelosi accused the House Republicans of endangering the American people with their efforts to defund Obama’s executive actions.

“House Republicans refuse to admit the dangerous collapse of their anti-immigrant grandstanding,” she said.