SAN FRANCISCO – Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House, was shouted down Monday by young immigrants at an event in her hometown of San Francisco to drum up support for legislation that would grant immigrants like them legal status.
The protesters were angered by Pelosi’s recent talks with President Donald Trump about the federal program that shields from deportation hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.
“We are immigrant youth, undocumented and unafraid,” several dozen young people chanted as they overtook the event.
After smiling and occasionally trying to speak through much of the protest, an aggravated Pelosi told the protesters to “just stop it now,” shortly before she was led out of the room.
She was appearing with Democratic U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman at College Track San Francisco, a program to expand college access. She was scheduled to appear Monday afternoon in Sacramento for a similar event.
The protests appeared aimed at Pelosi’s recent engagement with Trump on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives temporary legal protections to immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children or by parents who overstayed visas. Trump said in early September he will halt the program in six months if Congress does not act to continue it.
Last week, Pelosi and Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer met with Trump twice and discussed a deal to extend the program. Schumer and Pelosi said they reached a deal with the White House that did not include funding for Trump’s promised border wall. But the White House and Congressional Republicans say nothing is finalized.
“Democrats created an out-of-control deportation machine,” the protesters yelled. “Democrats are not the resistance to Trump.”
“You’ve had your say, and it’s beautiful,” Pelosi told the demonstrators at one point. But the shouting did not stop.
The protesters also urged Pelosi to “demand a clean bill,” and “shut down ICE,” referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Pelosi isn’t the only California Democrat to face Trump-related criticism. In August, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, also of San Francisco, was booed after she called for patience in dealing with Trump, saying she hoped he would change for the better.
The leader of California’s Senate, Democrat Kevin de Leon, suggested the comments made Feinstein complicit in what he called Trump’s “reckless behavior.”
Pelosi, meanwhile, told The Associated Press last Friday in an interview that she and Schumer are looking for ways to “build some trust and confidence” with Trump. She says it does not matter whether or not she and Trump like each other.
“Right now, I want him to like the Dreamers,” she said, using the nickname for young immigrants in the deferred action program.
Trump has said he wants to protect those immigrants, despite his decision to wind down the program doing so over six months.