House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded Thursday to a question about the potential for legislative action to address children being separated from their families at the border.
"I don't see any prospect for legislation here," Pelosi told reporters. "What do we do here? We do nothing. We do nothing. This could have been something taken up under suspension in a minute if this was a sincere effort to do it."
.@NancyPelosi on legislation to change policy of splitting children from their parents at the border: "I don't see any prospect for legislation here."— CSPAN (@cspan) June 14, 2018
Reporter: "Why not."
Pelosi: "Why not? What do we do here? We do nothing."
Full video here: https://t.co/NDPIEO08Hx pic.twitter.com/BhYCZhHb7R
Pelosi also called separating children from their parents at the border “barbaric" and "immoral” and argued that it could be changed by executive action in a minute.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in his weekly press briefing Thursday that the separation of families at the border should be addressed legislatively because the policy stems from a court ruling.
"We don't want kids to be separated from their parents. We believe because of the court ruling, this will require legislative change," Ryan said.
According to the Trump administration, their policy of taking children illegally crossing the border from their parents and placing them at the Office of Refugee Resettlement stems from a 1997 court ruling which limited the amount of time children can be held in federal facilities to 20 days.
The House is expected to consider immigration legislation next week, including language limiting the separation of families at the border.