Immigration Activists Shout Down Nancy Pelosi Over Trump Dreamer Deal

They repeatedly called the minority leader a “liar.”

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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Immigration activists shouted down Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) during a tense press conference in San Francisco on Monday, protesting a tentative agreement with President Trump to pass a law that extends protections for young immigrants known as Dreamers.

In addition to ensuring recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program can stay in the country, Trump’s apparent agreement to work with Democrats reportedly includes tougher border security measures, something immigration advocates say is a non-starter. No concrete details have yet been released about the deal-in-the-works, and the president himself has offered contradictory statements on whether an agreement has been reached at all.

“We undocumented youth will not be a bargaining chip for Trump’s xenophobic agenda,” the protesters shouted at Monday’s press conference. They repeatedly called the minority leader a “liar.”

Half an hour after the press conference started, Pelosi left. “Since you don’t want to listen, we’ll have to just go,” she said.

The protest comes after Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the agreement last week. Before activists interrupted her, Pelosi said any deal entered into by the Democrats should include an avenue for immigrants brought to the U.S. before turning 16 to stay permanently, ideally through a path to citizenship. The Trump administration has said it’s not willing to do that for the estimated 1.1 million Dreamers who might be eligible. Pelosi was joined by Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman, other representatives from California, in calling for the passage of the Dream Act.

But activists say tougher border security measures amount to a crackdown on immigrants already in the U.S. “It is unconscionable that we would accept any deal that essentially trades our safety for that of the safety of our family members and neighbors,” Itzel Guillen, who works with the Southern Border Communities Coalition, said in a statement. “Our communities are already hyper-militarized, with unaccountable border agents patrolling our communities and asking people for their papers at any time and for any reason.”

Other immigration activists, such as Daniel Altschuler with a group called Make the Road New York, are saying Democrats are trading away far too much by already conceding to upping border security.

You can watch the full video of the protest below:

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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