Things got a little heated Monday when a group of young immigrants confronted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a pro-DACA press conference in San Francisco.
Several dozen young immigrants shouted down the top House Democrat, 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 chanted, taking over a scheduled press conference Pelosi, along with Reps. Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman, organized to call for the immediate passage of the Dream Act, a federal proposal that offered many of the same protections as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, but was never approved by Congress.
The demonstrators, from the group Immigration Liberation Movement, appeared to be aiming at Pelosi's recent engagement with Trump on the future of the DACA program, which former President Barack Obama enacted to protect young people brought into the United States unlawfully as children. Trump said in early September he will halt the program in six months if Congress does not act to continue it.
After smiling and occasionally trying to speak through much of the protest, an aggravated Pelosi told the protesters to “just stop it, now."
The group cut off planned speeches from DACA recipients who joined Pelosi at the event.
Protesters accused Pelosi and other democrats of deporting undocumented immigrants, asking for protection for 11 million undocumented immigrants across the country. They chanted: "Shut down ICE" and "All of us or none of us."
“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.
The group also called Pelosi a liar.
"You're fighting deportation," the group asked, over and over again.
"Yes, I'm, yes, I'm," Pelosi responded.
"You're a liar, you're a liar," protesters said, attacking her about her efforts to stop deportation.
"You don't know what you're taking about," a visibly upset Pelosi responded.
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.
"It's clear you don't want any answers," Pelosi told the group. "It's clear."
Pelosi then walked out of the press conference and told reporters outside, "They don't want the Dream Act."
"I understand their frustration, I'm excited by it as a matter of fact," she said. "But the fact is, they're completely wrong. The Democrats are the ones who stopped their assault on sanctuary cities, stopped the wall, stopped the increased deportations in our last bill towards the end of April, and we are determined to get Republican vote for the clean Dream Act."
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.
Trump has said he wants to protect DACA recipients, despite his decision to wind down the program doing so over six months.
Pelosi released a statement after Monday's chaotic press conference, saying that she had talked with immigration groups about their concerns but never received a request for a meeting with Immigration Liberation Movement.
"Congresswoman Pelosi and her staff have met with dozens of immigration groups and advocates across the country this year alone to listen to their concerns and find a pathway forward to secure citizenship for 800,000 DREAMers in our country. She will continue to work with advocates in efforts to pass the DREAM Act," the statement read.
"Dreamers" is a nickname used for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children or by parents who overstayed visas.
Following the Trump administration's decision to end the DACA initiative, communities across the country began fighting back to lobby for the protection of young immigrants.
Six immigrants brought to the United States as children sued the Trump administration on Monday over its decision to end DACA.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco alleges the move violated the constitutional rights of immigrants who lack legal status and provided information about themselves to the U.S. government so they could participate in the program.
The lawsuit joins others filed over President Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA, which has allowed nearly 800,000 immigrants to obtain work permits and deportation protection since 2012.
A clearly shaken Nancy Pelosi mutters "they don't want the DREAM Act" about pro DACA protesters who interrupt press conference. pic.twitter.com/88kPHlaStg
— Scott McGrew (@ScottMcGrew) September 18, 2017
"Shut down ICE!" Dreamers confront Nancy Pelosi about immigration, negotiations with Trump over DACA. WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/faywo3TzJV pic.twitter.com/jdcYfmJDRe
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) September 18, 2017
Dreamers confront Min. Leader @NancyPelosi at event abt negotiations w/ Trump. "We demand to be heard...we are not your bargaining chip." pic.twitter.com/TTMVO1IYHD
— Sam Brock (@SamNBCBayArea) September 18, 2017