Once again, the House Democrats' outspoken leader's past statements have come back to haunt her. In some remarks from back in 2014 that have resurfaced amid the Democrats' hypocritical hysteria over the Trump administration's handling of illegal immigrant families, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi struck a remarkably different tone about children detained by the Obama administration than she has about the Trump administration's handling of the situation.
In another case of "you just can't make this stuff up" (see the fake news "child separated from mother" photo for another example), Pelosi told the press on June 28, 2014, after visiting a jam-packed illegal immigrant detention center, that what "some view as a crisis," she viewed as "an opportunity" to continue to show our humanity. Rather than "politicizing" the situation and decrying the state of the detained children, as she and her colleagues have done in increasingly extreme terms over the last week, she said what she witnessed at the detention center was "dazzling."
"What we just saw was so stunning," she said. "If you believe, as we do, that every child, every person, has a spark of divinity in them and is therefore worthy of respect, what we saw in those rooms was dazzling – a sparkling array of God’s children, worthy of respect. So we have to use, as was said this morning, the crisis that some view as a crisis – and it does have crisis qualities – as an opportunity to show who we are as Americans: that we do respect people for their dignity and their worth; that we know how to get the job done, that relates to, again stopping trafficking. Because that’s one of the fundamentals that will reinforce the law."
While we should move families as quickly as possible, she said, we must make sure to obey the immigration laws and not "rush" solutions.
"We have the law that established the Department of Homeland Security. We have the Flores decision. So the balance that we’re trying to create is to move these kids, these young people, these families as quickly as possible into another setting. We have to do it in a way that meets certain standards – and not, in our rush, not do the best we can for them," she said.
She noted one particularly "tragic image," a boy "in isolation all by himself," but made sure to underscore that it's "for his safety and the safety of others."
Would she have framed that "tragic image" so graciously in 2018? No chance. She also wouldn't have said this about immigration officials under Trump:
We’re here to thank the Border Patrol. We think they’re doing the best they can under the circumstances. They have handled this well, but the facilities just do not meet the need. And we have to be helpful. We thank the Department of Defense for what they’re doing, the Department of [Homeland Security]. But the purpose of my visit was to see what we in Congress can do to help, to honor the traditions of our country, to respect the dignity and worth of every person, to do so in a way that is not the fastest, but the best – in the shortest period of time.
During the question and answer period after her remarks, she said she refuses to "politicize" the immigration crisis.
"Well, I hope that while some may have tried to politicize it, I hope that was not the case," said Pelosi. "I'm not going to take any bait on what one partisan said or the other."
Instead of politicizing, she said, it's time to "put all that aside and talk about what we’re going to do to help these children and families. ... The fact is, the reality is: the children are there and we need to address the problem. It breaks your heart to waste one ounce of energy on anything other than just addressing the problem."
They met with children, they even held some of the children in their arms. It’s just so heartbreaking, it so challenges the conscience of our country that it must be changed and it must be changed immediately.
Today, there was another delegation at the Texas border and yesterday there was a group that went to a detention center in New Jersey. We will be persisting in getting the information that we need to make sure the American people understand that their values are on the line. ...
I am a mother of five children and grandmother to nine. I know that these people in Congress and the administration are parents they understand the damage that was done when stress that is exacted on children when they are separated from their families. They think that these children deserve less than their children do in terms of care and love.
So, this is not an immigration issue, this is a humanitarian issue. It’s about the children.
It’s also about people seeking asylum. We have had the American Evangelical Association come and testify before us in saying, ‘the U.S. refugee resettlement program is the crown jewel of American humanitarianism.’ What are we doing but rejecting that now?
Don’t take our words for it, the American Catholic Bishops said, this is ‘immoral.’ In fact, today another letter opposing the legislation that the Republicans are putting forward. The Evangelical Immigration Table has said this is ‘horrible’ and opposes this dividing of children and their parents.