At a recent San Francisco event, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced the Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests of illegal immigrants. "Taking parents from their children … that's un-American," Pelosi said.
Fox News aired videotape of Pelosi's "un-American" remark last week, and a minor national story was born. Be it noted that Pelosi wasn't saying anything new. She has long opposed enforcement of federal immigration laws duly enacted by Congress, even as she pays lip service to the need to enforce the law.
In 2003, Pelosi accused ICE of "terrorizing" workers after agents raided a number of Wal-Mart stores for hiring and contracting undocumented janitors. By the way, during the 2008 primary, then-Sen. Barack Obama also said that some communities "were terrorized" by ICE "raids."
At a news conference last week, La Speaker gave an increasingly qualified explanation: "What I said was separating parents from their children -- ICE raids that separate parents from their children in the middle of night are un-American, and I stand by that. And those were the issues that we were dealing with, three families where the parents were separated -- a parent was separated from the children and the prospect of the second parent being separated. And I do believe that separating parents from their children, in these cases -- sometimes in the middle of night -- is un-American."
I asked Pelosi's staff for information about families that ICE had separated in the middle of the night. Spokesman Brendan Daly sent statements made by two children -- both American citizens -- at the Ess Eff event. The three families turned into two families -- Daly noted that Pelosi spoke with others privately -- and the two mothers were left at home, although the children fear their mothers also could be deported. There was one 5 a.m. arrest. The teenagers also argued that, as U.S. citizens, they have a right to stay in America, and they believe their parents should be able to stay, as well.
Pelosi added, "We have to enforce our laws." But if Pelosi really believes in enforcing the law, why is she criticizing ICE agents who put themselves on the line to make immigration laws work?
At the news conference, Pelosi had little good to say about ICE's enforcement. She noted, "We don't have to kick in doors in the middle of the night and take fathers out of their homes."