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Pelosi Expects GOP Immigration Principles Will Be ‘Good’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In advance of the House GOP retreat where Republicans will tackle the issue of immigration — with Speaker John A. Boehner expected to hand down a one-page sheet of immigration overhaul principles on Thursday — Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Wednesday morning that Boehner expects Democrats will be able to accept those GOP proposals.  

“They’re going to be establishing the principles, as you know, and it will be good to see them,” the California Democrat said, continuing that Boehner had “assured” her that the blueprint will be “good” and “acceptable to probably all of us.”  

Pelosi said she had discussed some aspects of the immigration overhaul with Boehner, but said she and the Ohio Republican had not delved into specifics. For instance, when asked about a pathway to citizenship, Pelosi said, “We didn’t talk at that level of detail in terms of the provisions of the bill, just principles.”  

But Pelosi did make it clear that Democrats want immigrants who came to America illegally to have the chance at citizenship.  

“There has to be a path to citizenship,” the California Democrat said. Her office told CQ Roll Call that Pelosi will only support a comprehensive pathway to citizenship, not just one for immigrant children, better known as so-called “Dreamers.”  

Pelosi said House Democrats have long-standing immigration principles themselves, going back years and including “securing our border, protecting our workers, uniting our families and having a path to citizenship.”  

She said she didn’t know what form the GOP principles would take — “I think they are changing it, not saying it’s principles, it’s standards,” she said — but she predicted a “good-faith effort to find common ground.”  

Either way, Pelosi made it clear Democrats are ready to see what Republicans come up with.  

“Any proposal is a starter,” she said.