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Speaker Pelosi: We Should Not Be ‘Suppressing the Vote of Our Newcomers to America’

Craig Millward
By Craig Millward | March 5, 2019 | 3:55 PM EST

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), with Rep. Dogget (D-Texas), speaking on the importance of passing H.R. 1. (Screenshot)

Speaking at a news conference on voting rights with Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said immigrants “make America more American,” and we should not be “suppressing the vote of our newcomers to America.”

“So, when we talk about newcomers, we have to recognize the constant reinvigoration of America that they are, that we all have been – our families,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “And that, unless you're blessed to be Native American – which is a blessing in itself that we respect – but that constant reinvigoration of hope, determination, optimism, courage, to make the future better for the next generation, those are American traits. And these newcomers make America more American. And we want them, when they come here, to be fully part of our system. And that means not suppressing the vote of our newcomers to America.”

Speaker Pelosi spoke on the importance of passing H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2019,” “to lay the foundation to pass the Voting Rights Act, strengthened after the actions of the Supreme Court, which significantly weakened it,” she said. 

Below is an excerpt of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks

“In the campaign, the candidate that I, the president that I quoted the most was Ronald Reagan. Does that surprise you? Maybe. But Ronald Reagan said this: ‘This is the last speech I will make as President of the United States. And I have a message I want to communicate to the country I love.’ He went on to talk about the Statue of Liberty and what it means to the world – that beacon of hope, what it means to people who have come here and seen that statue welcoming them – he said, our ancestors, our grandparents, our parents.”

“We, in California, see people coming from a different direction, but the same welcome. You see them coming, many from the south, southern border, but should be the same welcome. He went on to say, though, after talking about the Statue of Liberty: ‘the vital force of America’s preeminence in the world is every new generation of immigrants who come to our country. And when America fails to recognize that as our vital force, America will fail to be preeminent in the world’ – preeminent in the world.

“So, when we talk about newcomers, we have to recognize the constant reinvigoration of America that they are, that we all have been – our families. And that, unless you're blessed to be Native American – which is a blessing in itself that we respect – but that constant reinvigoration of hope, determination, optimism, courage, to make the future better for the next generation, those are American traits. And these newcomers make America more American. And we want them, when they come here, to be fully part of our system. And that means not suppressing the vote of our newcomers to America.”

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