Politics

Pelosi ‘Not Giving Up’ Hope She Can Reach Immigration Deal With Trump

REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism over reaching a deal on comprehensive immigration reform with President Donald Trump.

“It’s complicated, but it isn’t hard to do if you have good intentions,” Pelosi said to reporters Thursday during the Democrats’ 2019 Issues Conference in Virginia. “And I’m not giving up on the president on this.”

“I’m always optimistic,” the California Democrat continued. “And this has to happen. It’s inevitable. Again, it’s inevitable to some, inconceivable to others. We have to shorten the distance between the inevitable and the inconceivable.”

Pelosi’s claims that an immigration deal between Democrats and the White House is feasible comes as the two camps continue to stray further apart on the issue.

U.S. President Trump participates in briefing at U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station in Calexico, California

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a roundtable discussion on immigration and border security at the U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station before visiting the U.S.-Mexico border in Calexico, California, U.S., April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Trump is currently mulling a number of executive orders to take his immigration agenda into a “tougher direction” and hopes to expedite wall construction on the southern border. A growing number of Democrats, on the other hand, have openly called for the defunding and complete abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and have adamantly opposed Trump’s border wall.

Just a day before making her “optimistic” comments, Pelosi said Trump’s immigration policies were “contrary to the values of our country” and a “downward spiral of indecency.” Trump also went on the attack on Wednesday, calling Democrats’ action on the border “treasonous” in a late-night tweet.

It’s not immediately clear where the president and Pelosi could find common ground, but the speaker claimed that the bipartisan fiscal 2019 spending package that was passed and signed into law in February lays the groundwork for a future immigration compromise. (RELATED: Conservatives Rally Behind Cuccinelli For DHS Secretary)

Meanwhile, apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border have reached record highs. Border Patrol agents apprehended or turned back 103,492 foreign nationals who attempted to reach the southern border in March — the highest month in 12 years. The influx of migrants, many of them families from Central America, has pushed detainment centers past the breaking point, forcing them to release an average of 1,000 illegal migrants a day.

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