House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that Republican governors should welcome the influx of migrants coming across the southern border because they can “pick the crops,” in their states.
“We have a shortage of workers in our country, and you see even in Florida, some of the farmers and the growers are saying, ‘Why are you shipping these immigrants up north? We need them to pick the crops down here,'” she said at a press briefing.
Her comments came as a response the transportation of migrants to New York City, Washington D.C., and other localities that have touted themselves as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants by Republican governors such as Texas’s Greg Abbott, and Florida’s Ron DeSantis.
Earlier this month, DeSantis green-lit the transportation of 48 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, outraging Democrats and progressive commentators, who castigated their journey to the affluent island as an inhumane “stunt” that made political “pawns” out of vulnerable migrants seeking refuge and economic opportunity.
In this fiscal year alone, the U.S. has reported over 2.1 million migrant encounters, according to new data from Customs and Border Protection released last week. There were over 200,000 migrant encounters in August alone.
“We have a responsibility to secure our border,” Pelosi said. “We also have a responsibility to recognize the importance of newcomers to our nation. Right now, the best thing we can do for our economy is to have comprehensive immigration reform.”
Pelosi also accused Republicans of hypocrisy on the issue, conflating their past support for legal immigration with an endorsement of illegal immigration.
“Our nation is great because we are a nation of immigrants — but don’t take it from me, listen to Ronald Reagan. When I quote Ronald Reagan to my Republican colleagues, he doesn’t get any applause. Can you imagine that?” she asked.
Pelosi assured Americans that President Biden is working on a plan to finally secure the border, close to two years into his administration.
“I believe that we have to have a secure border. And I think that we are trying to address… the president has a plan to address that,” she said.