SAN FRANCISCO >> Several dozen young immigrants shouted down Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House, today during an event in San Francisco, following her recent conversations with President Donald Trump over the future of a program that grants many of them legal status.
“We are immigrant youth, undocumented and unafraid,” they shouted as they overtook an event Pelosi was holding to encourage passing legislation that would give many young immigrants legal status.
After smiling and occasionally trying to speak through much of the protest, an aggravated Pelosi told the protesters to “just stop it now,” shortly before she was led out of the room.
She was appearing with Democratic U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman at College Track San Francisco, a program to expand college access. She was scheduled to appear Monday afternoon in Sacramento for a similar event.
The protests appeared aimed at Pelosi’s recent engagement with Trump on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives temporary legal protections to immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children or by parents who overstayed visas. Trump said in early September he will halt the program in six months if Congress does not act to continue it.
Last week, Pelosi and Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer met with Trump twice and discussed a deal to extend the program. Schumer and Pelosi said they reached a deal with the White House that did not include funding for Trump’s promised border wall. But the White House and Congressional Republicans say nothing is finalized.
“Democrats created an out-of-control deportation machine,” the protesters yelled. “Democrats are not the resistance to Trump.”
“You’ve had your say, and it’s beautiful,” Pelosi told the demonstrators at one point. But the shouting did not stop.
Pelosi told The Associated Press last Friday in an interview that she and Schumer are looking for ways to “build some trust and confidence” with Trump. She says it does not matter whether or not she and Trump like each other.
“Right now, I want him to like the Dreamers,” she said, using the nickname for young immigrants in the deferred action program.
Trump has said he wants to protect those immigrants, despite his decision to wind down the program doing so over six months.