Pelosi Hedges on Timing of Immigration Reform

Posted March 19, 2009 at 2:01pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent Thursday talking up the need to pass comprehensive immigration reform “soon,— but couldn’t say whether it will happen this year.

“I hope so,— Pelosi said. “The Hispanic Caucus met with the president a day or two ago. I’ll meet with them and see what their conversation was.—

Pelosi raised the topic during remarks at a border issues conference in the Capitol. Greeted with applause at the mention of the issue, Pelosi outlined the elements that will guide Democrats’ comprehensive immigration reform: ensuring border and worker protections, keeping families together and creating a path to legalization.

“For the first time in a long time, the opportunity exists to enact comprehensive immigration reform,— Pelosi said, pointing to President Barack Obama’s interest in advancing legislation. “We need this comprehensive reform, and we need it soon.—

But later, she sidestepped questions about whether Congress has the votes to pass such a measure this year, saying that Democratic leaders “have to work— on immigration reform before making a judgment about its viability.