MCALLEN, Texas — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she sees comprehensive immigration reform not only as Congress' official work but also as its moral responsibility as she finishes up a tour of Central America.
Pelosi traveled with a congressional delegation to explore the causes of immigration and possible solutions. The group visited Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – the three countries whose citizens make up the bulk of asylum seekers.
The Democratic speaker said Sunday in Texas that she made the trip because she wanted to ensure that the U.S. effectively honors the dignity of the immigrants who enter its borders.
“We didn't just go to visit and come home,” Pelosi said. “We went to listen, to learn, to share our thoughts, so we can have better public policy.”
The Trump administration is working on a plan that could stem the number of migrants seeking asylum in border cities like San Diego. It would require them to first request asylum in Guatemala, although the delegation that returned Sunday remains skeptical.
The delegation’s tour concluded in McAllen, Texas to talk about migrant holding facilities. It's often the posterchild for overcrowding.
San Diego continues to receive flights full of migrants caught entering the U.S. illegally in the Rio Grande Valley for processing here. Border Patrol says our facilities are not as overcrowded.
The House of Representatives is currently working on a several bills, including one that would force Customs and Border Protection to make changes in McAllen, San Diego and elsewhere nationwide.
“We absolutely have to change our whole policy to comprehensive immigration reform so these people can come here with respect," Pelosi said.
The speaker called immigration reform Congress' moral responsibility.
The session is scheduled to resume after Labor Day.
“There's no question the immigration issue has been used in a way that is beneath the dignity of our country and denies the recognition that we are a nation of immigrants,” Pelosi said.