House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Wednesday that she is grateful for the parents of Dreamers who brought their children to the U.S.
Pelosi made the comment at a press conference in which she discussed the possibility of a government shutdown as lawmakers scramble to pass a short-term spending deal by midnight Friday to keep the government funded. Many Democrats have indicated they will not support a deal unless it preserves the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which provides legal protections to Dreamers, immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
"The CBS poll out this morning shows overwhelming support for DACA, but then on the question of whether or not it's worth risking shutting down the government, it was very evenly split," an off-camera reporter said to Pelosi. "What happens if there's a shutdown and there is no real one side wins?"
"Well, it's not a shutdown over DACA. How many more times do I have to say?" Pelosi responded, sounding somewhat annoyed. "We have issues in terms of the funding."
"As I said," Pelosi continued, "if there had never been one DACA, one Dreamer—thank God that there are; God bless them and their parents for bringing them here—but if there had never been one Dreamer, we'd still have issues."
CBS News released the poll that the reporter referred to on Thursday. The survey showed that nine in 10 Americas favor DACA. On shutting down the government, 46 percent of respondents who favor DACA said it was worth it, while 48 percent said it was not.
There are an estimated 800,000 Dreamers in the U.S. The Trump administration rescinded DACA in September, arguing its implementation was an overreach of executive authority, and President Donald Trump gave Congress six months to find a legal solution to the problem.
"Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit the issue!" Trump tweeted after rescinding the program.