House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuked Donald Trump Thursday for telling immigrants seeking political asylum in the United States that “our country is full.”
“My God, I thought it was Mary and Joseph at Christmas,” Pelosi said Thursday in an interview with Roll Call. “‘We have no room. There is no room at the inn.’ What is this? Of course there’s room.”
On a trip last Friday to Calexico, Calif., Trump decried the number of Central American migrants fleeing violence in their homelands and seeking asylum in the U.S.
“Our country is full,” Trump said, while promoting the need to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. “Our area is full. The sector is full. Can’t take you anymore, I’m sorry. Can’t happen. So turn around, that’s the way it is.”
Since Pelosi walked out of a January meeting with Trump over an impasse over funding the president’s proposed border wall, the speaker said she and Trump have discussed immigration. While describing herself as “optimistic” about finding a bipartisan solution on immigration reform, Pelosi also decried the way Trump weaponizes fear on the issue.
“The president is a fearmonger. He fueled the flame of insecurity about globalization, about immigration in the campaign,” Pelosi told Roll Call, adding, “But if the economy is better for some of these people, I think that fear tactic will be diminished.
Still, Pelosi said she hasn’t given up hope of working with Trump on immigration issues.
“It’s complicated, but it isn’t hard to do if you have good intentions,” Pelosi said. “And I’m not giving up on the president on this.”
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