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Nancy Pelosi’s speech broke a record but the future is still unclear

Priscila Chavez,
Contributor

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House minority leader Nancy Pelosi made history for her eight hour speech on Feb. 7, defending DACA and undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States as children.

Her speech broke the record for longest continuous speech in the House of Representatives since 1909. The 1909 speech was made by James Beauchamp Clark, a Democrat from Missouri. His speech lasted five hours and 15 minutes.

She began speaking at 10 a.m. and finished speaking shortly after 6:10 p.m. Because the speech was done in the House and not in the Senate, the speech is technically not a filibuster. A filibuster is used in the Senate to block or delay a legislation.

Filibuster or not, Pelosi completed the eight hour speech with no breaks and only sipping water throughout its duration.

The same morning of Pelosi’s speech, Democratic senator Chuck Schumer and Republican senator Mitch Mcconnell announced a two-year bipartisan budget deal that raised military funding without tying in a deal towards a solution for Dreamers.

There are currently 3.6 million people in the United States that fall under that category, and 800,000 of those young adults qualified for the DACA program that was enacted in 2012 under the Obama administration.

The speech served as a protest aimed towards Senate Democrats for surrendering critical leverage that could have been used to pass a permanent solution for Dreamers. Pelosi filled her time by sharing detailed stories of various young immigrants. The stories detailed the impact and security that DACA can and has provided for these people that have lived here most of their lives but are still at risk of deportation.

“The young people are our future and these dreamers are part of that,” Pelosi said. “They’ve been enriched by the greatness of our country.”

After President Donald Trump announced the termination of DACA in Sept. 2017, Democratic leaders including Pelosi initially assured the public they would secure an extension for DACA by the end of 2017, a promise immensely hoped for but not kept.

Since then there have not been any new advancements to the issue of DACA. With the March 5 deadline approaching and no resolution met, it is not looking too bright for the Dreamers. Until something else is proposed, their fate will still be hanging in limbo.

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California State University East Bay
Nancy Pelosi’s speech broke a record but the future is still unclear