In the last few weeks House Democrats have given mixed signals about whether they would support changing the law forbidding the quick return of tens of thousands young Central American immigrants and families crossing illegally into the United States. No more. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats now solidly oppose a legislative fix that could speed removals and ease the border crisis.
In an interview with the New York Times, Pelosi called the Cornyn-Cuellar bill, which would change the law, "exactly the wrong way to go." The Times reported that Pelosi "said the Congressional Hispanic Caucus had united against any bill that changes the way children migrants are treated. The rest of the House Democratic caucus will follow the Latino lawmakers' lead, she said."
In response, a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner said Pelosi's position "seems likely to make the humanitarian crisis on our border even worse." For the GOP -- and for at least a few Democrats, before Pelosi's declaration -- changing the law is an essential part of any broader response to the border crisis. The Washington Examiner's David Drucker reports that Rep. Hal Rogers, the Republican helping craft House action on the border, calls changing the law "non-negotiable."
If that is the case, Pelosi's move means the House has now reached an impasse, even as new immigrants continue to cross illegally into the U.S.