Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., claimed a “violation of status” was not a valid reason to deport illegal immigrants, during a Speaker of the House discussion in Elmhurst, New York on Monday.
“So, that is really kind of what happened. [Trump] didn’t say what he was going to do but, as the president said, ‘oh, I’ll let you know, I’ll let you know.’ [He] went into — ‘well, people broke the laws.’ A violation of status is not a reason for deportation. That’s just not so,” she said.
An ICE official who spoke with Fox News did not address Pelosi’s comments directly but pointed to 8 U.S. Code Section 1325 (and 1326 for re-entry), and said anyone found to have violated U.S. immigration laws may be arrested, detained and – if found removable by final order – removed from the United States.
Pelosi also spoke about Trump’s proposed ICE raids, which have now been delayed for two weeks to, he said, give Congress additional time to find a solution to the southern border crisis. She called the operation uncivilized and questioned its purpose.
“When I saw that the president was going to have these raids—I mean it was so appalling; it’s outside the circle of civilized human behavior to just be kicking down doors, splitting up families, and the rest of that, in addition to the injustices that are happening at the border,” she said.
Pelosi claimed legislation was in the works to address the immigration crisis but said there’s no point in enforcing existing law within the boundaries of the United States.
“We have legislation to go forward to address those needs, but in terms of interior enforcement, what is– what’s the point?” she added. “Well, I won’t even go into what the motivation might be for that here because this is not a political event.”