Pelosi: Deportation Is About 'Purification of America'

By Susan Jones | September 8, 2017 | 6:34 AM EDT

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) brought race into the immigration debate at a news conference on Thursday.  (Photo: Screen grab from C-SPAN)

( - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told a news conference on Thursday that people who want to deport illegal aliens are trying to achieve "the purification of America."

She slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying his recent announcement about DACA enrollees was "about white people in America." And she indicated that passage of the Dream Act is just a first step toward amnesty for millions of illegal aliens in this country.

Her comments came in response to a reporter, who asked Pelosi if President Donald Trump had given her a "direct indication" that he would sign the Dream Act if Congress passes it:

The president, both yesterday in the meeting and today, made it very clear: He wants Congress to act to get this done. Now, just -- and kind of in the back-and-forth of all of this, what was interesting to me is that the president -- well, the attorney general's statement was something that was the equivalent of the worst statue you could ever think of.

I mean, it was about white people in America, and it was a terrible, terrible statement. It was consistent with what the Bannon folks talk about when they want the purification of America. That's why they want to export -- they want to deport so many -- the 11 million people in our country.

So -- so, in that, shall we say, concern that we have -- I mean, the president said, six months, and Congress should act, and if they don't, I'll revisit it.

Well, if you're saying that the act that -- action that President Obama took was not legal, how are you going to revisit it? They're -- going to be legal for you, but it wasn't legal for President Obama, and that's why you have to overturn it now?

So I think we all came to a good place. Congress should act. We should remove all doubt. There should be statutory protection for the Dreamers. And quite -- the fact is -- is that we need comprehensive immigration reform, and that would cover a lot more than just the Dreamers.

But, for right now, we have to strike while the iron is hot, that iron being what President Lincoln talked about, that I quote all the time: 'Public sentiment is everything,' and public sentiment is with the Dreamers.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was rescinding President Obama's Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, phasing it out over six months so Congress has time to pass legislation.

Sessions never mentioned "white people" in his remarks.

He talked about the Constitution, the rule of law, and the need for a nation to "set and enforce a limit on how many immigrants we admit each year."

Sessions said not everyone who wants to come to the United States can be admitted. "This does not mean they are bad people or that our nation disrespects or demeans them in any way. It means we are properly enforcing our laws as Congress has passed them," he said.

"Our nation is comprised of good and decent people who want their government's leaders to fulfill their promises and advance an immigration policy that serves the national interest. We are people of compassion and we are people of law," Sessions said.

“But there's nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration law. Enforcing the law saves lives, protects communities and taxpayers and prevents human suffering. Failure to enforce the laws in the past has put our nation at risk of crime, violence and terrorism."

Sessions said U.S. immigration policy "should serve the interests of the people of the United States, lawful immigrant and native-born alike."

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