SACRAMENTO — Hours after U.S Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was rattled by protesters at an event in San Francisco, the House Democratic Minority Leader found solace from a crowd at Sacramento State University.
Pelosi, D-San Francisco; Congresspersons Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento; Ami Bera, D-Sacramento; and Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, spoke at the campus to call for immediate passage of the DREAM Act.
Pelosi was met with an arousing thunder of applause when she was introduced on the campus of Sac State. The exuberant mood was a far distant from the uncomfortable setting in the Bay Area, where she was called a “liar” by young immigrants who claim she and Democrats were not fighting to end deportation.
The Dream Act would seal the fate of 800,000 DREAMers currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The Bay Area protesters took their ire out on Pelosi since she and U.S. Congressman Chuck Schumer, also a Democrat, had been in discussions with President Donald Trump about the issue.
At the Sac State event, Pelosi said No. 45 is on board with allowing DREAMers a lawful passage for permanent residents and American citizenship. But she and her colleagues are against some other things the President is trying to throw in the deal, such as building wall on the border of Mexico.
“We have an agreement with the President to support a clean, DREAM Act,” Pelosi told the OBSERVER. “Not only that, one of his leaders in his cabinet said the next day that’s what the agreement was. Now, where we are having a fight is we told him no wall and he said ‘I understand that.’ Now we’ll have to see where we go from here.”
The Department of Justice announced earlier this month that the DACA program would be stopped in its track in six months if Congress does not work out a policy to save it. Trump said in a written statement that he would “resolve the DACA issue with a heart and compassion – but through a lawful democratic process.”
Out of over 30,000 students at Sacramento State, “about 1,000 are protected by DACA,” said the school’s Provost, Ching-Ha Wang. Overall, McNerney said he has 20,000 DREAMers in his district alone. In reality, there are 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.
Bera told the OBSERVER that the Republicans will also have to show compassion and a willingness “to find that moral courage and say ‘I’m with this’” in order for the DREAM Act to pass. He’s also skeptical about Trump, who campaigned on deportation of immigrants.
“Well, you see how the President just ripped apart what our moral fabric is post-Charlottesville when he didn’t call out hate and racism,” Bera said. “He ran on hate, he ran on anti-immigration, and that is what he’s being doing while he’s been in office. He hasn’t changed one bit. Do I trust the President? No. But does he has an opportunity to rise up and be a moral leader? Now we’ll have to shame him into doing the right thing. This is not about policy. It’s about people.”
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer