House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, not known for rigorous adherence to Catholic Church teaching, found herself citing the bishop of El Paso on Thursday while drumming up support for the White House’s requested $3.7 billion emergency supplemental spending bill.
The bill, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid considers a top priority for the Democratic caucus this month, was requested by the president on Tuesday to help deal with the current child migration crisis.
“During the break I visited Brownsville, Texas and saw the challenge that we are facing there,” Pelosi began. “Little children, little children coming across the border. … Whatever you think of it, there is a humanitarian need. No one speaks to it more eloquently than the National Catholic Conference of Bishops [sic] in their report on it. … The bishops talk about baby Jesus being, fleeing violence, that’s how they begin — in the beginning of their report. And at the end of their report they say that to send these children back would be like to send them into a burning building.”
Brownsville is the site of one of several Border Patrol detention centers where the migrants are held while waiting for transfer to U.S. sponsors or Health and Human Services facilities.
The report, Bishop Mark Seitz’s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee in June, notes that “Migration and Refugee Services of USCCB [United States Conference of Catholic Bishops] is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the United States” and that “the Catholic Church’s work in assisting unaccompanied migrant children stems from the belief that every person has a unique and sacred dignity. … We seek to be consistent in acknowledging the implications of this, namely that from the time we come to be in our mother’s womb until the moment our life comes to an end we are deserving of respect and care.”
Pelosi, who has repeatedly provoked the ire of the USCCB for misrepresenting Catholic teaching on abortion, got into uncanny valley territory while praising the report. (RELATED: Pelosi Lectures Her Own Archbishop On Marriage March)
“It’s about the children,” she reiterated. “As I said, read the National Catholic Conference of Bishops, they’re so eloquent and beautiful on the subject.”