DACA recipients protest Pelosi's deal with Trump: 'We are not a bargaining chip'

Washington Post

Protesters angrily confronted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Monday about her emerging agreement with President Trump to provide legal protections to young undocumented immigrants.

Pelosi and Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Jared Huffman, D-Calif., appeared at an event in her home town of San Francisco to call on Congress to immediately pass the Dream Act, bipartisan legislation that would enshrine legal protections for hundreds of thousands of "dreamers" into law. But the legislation is now the central part of an anticipated agreement between Trump and Democratic congressional leaders that would couple the bill with unspecified plans to bolster security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed to work on the plan during a rare dinner meeting last week.

But on Monday, Pelosi came face-to-face with people who say they would be directly affected by any change in policy. After addressing the crowd, roughly 40 people rushed the stage and started chanting loudly while Pelosi, her security detail, Lee and Huffman watched. Several identified themselves as "undocumented youth" - presumably beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or other dreamers.

"We are not a bargaining chip!" the protesters chanted, according to local reporters.

"All of us or none of us," they said later.

After standing by and watching the protest for more than 20 minutes, Pelosi eventually left the scene. Her official Facebook page had been live-streaming the event and her aides encouraged out-of-town reporters to watch it, but the feed cut out as the protesters persisted.

The protesters were identified as members of the local chapters of RISE, Faith in Action and the California Youth Immigrant Justice Alliance, according to Pelosi aides.

Pelosi is not the first - and likely won't be the last - Democratic official to be confronted by immigration activists. Several times over the course of his presidency, young immigration rights protesters shouted at President Barack Obama during official events, campaign rallies or campaign fundraisers. Given their distance from the president, he usually succeeded in shouting them down or U.S. Secret Service escorted them from the room. In this case, Pelosi had to stand by, with cameras rolling, as they continued shouting.

Talks to sort out the specifics of the deal sought by Trump and Democrats are set to begin this week, but several congressional aides said Monday that they had no details yet on plans to begin the talks or what they would focus on - if they ever commence.

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