House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that Democrats have “never not” called the situation at the United States-Mexico border a crisis, despite them repeatedly denying there was a crisis earlier this year.
“Well, let me just say this. We have not said that there was a crisis—there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, and some of it provoked by the actions taken by the administration,” Pelosi, a California Democratic representative, said on May 16 during her weekly press conference.
“What is happening at the border is tragic and we hope to address some of that in the disaster supplemental,” Pelosi said, referring to the multibillion-dollar disaster aid bill being developed in Congress. “And we understand our responsibility to secure our border.”
The speaker’s answer came after a member of the press asked how Democrats currently view the situation at the southern border, after calling it a “manufactured crisis” for months.
Despite her claim to the contrary, Pelosi and numerous other Democratic leaders have gone on record in the recent past as denying there was a crisis at the United States-Mexico border.
“The president’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defense funds for the security of our military and our nation,” read a joint statement from Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in February, attacking President Donald Trump for declaring a national emergency at the border.
“The first, most dramatic thing we found was there is no crisis at the border,” House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said in February after visiting the border near El Paso, Texas.
On social media, the Democratic Party left no room for nuance regarding its opinion of the southern border.
There. Is. No. Crisis. At. The. Border.
An important thread. ⬇️ https://t.co/27aZ7U7vPL
— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) February 15, 2019
Democratic governors across the United States also contended that there was no crisis, and their positions on the issue resulted in less manpower at the United States-Mexico border. Three Democratic governors—Gavin Newsom of California, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico—pulled their state’s National Guard troops from the border.
“There is simply not ample evidence to support the president’s contention that there exists a national security crisis at our southwestern border,” Evers stated in February. “Therefore, there is no justification for the ongoing presence of Wisconsin National Guard personnel at the border.”
However, as thousands of illegal immigrants have continued to reach the United States border every month, pushing immigration facilities past their breaking point, Democrats have begun changing their tune. April marked the second consecutive month where encounters at the southern border topped 100,000 and Border Patrol apprehension numbers have risen every month this year.
Pelosi said during the Thursday press conference it was necessary for the GOP and Democrats to reach a consensus on immigration reform.
“We have to, I believe, come to comprehensive immigration reform,” she continued. “We have to do it in a way that secures our borders, has a path to citizenship, respects the value of family to us.”
Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Jason Hopkins | Immigration and politics reporter