Go Nancy Go!

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) today delivered an eight-hour speech in opposition to a budget bill, urging her fellow members to find a permanent solution to immigration debates that have left individuals and families across the country anxious about their futures. In a record-breaking address being called a “DACA-buster,” Pelosi used her power as a party leader in the chamber to elevate the voices of young immigrants fighting to stay in the country they call home.

From 10:04 a.m. to 6:10 p.m., Pelosi read testimony from DREAMers—undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children and were enrolled in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Pelosi wore four-inch heels and drank only water during the eight-hour speech. According to the House Historian’s office, it was the longest speech in floor history.

 

Throughout, Twitter users sent Pelosi messages of gratitude, encouragement and support with the hashtag #GoNancyGo.

President Trump suspended the DACA program in September, instructing Congress to come up with a path forward for the program within six months. That program’s fate is now uncertain, as are the legal protections offered for participating; now, many DREAMers fear deportation to countries they’re unfamiliar with.

Senate Democrats brokered a deal with Republicans to avert a government shutdown earlier this month that was contingent on legislation addressing DACA being considered in the chamber. Pelosi is demanding the same now of Speaker Paul Ryan. The short-term government funding bill passed as a result of the initial compromise expires at midnight Thursday—and without Democratic support, the bill being put forth now in the House to extend it won’t pass.

“We have to be strong as a country,” Pelosi told her colleagues from the floor, “to respect the aspirations of people who are our future. The young people are our future and these dreamers are part of that. They’ve been enriched… by the greatness of our country. Our plea to the speaker is for us, for ourselves, to honor the values of our founders.”

Carmen Rios is the Digital Editor at Ms. and Contributing Editor and Co-Founder of Argot Magazine; her work has also appeared at BuzzFeed, Bitch, Mic, MEL, Everyday Feminism and Autostraddle, where she was previously Community Director and Feminism Editor. Like everyone else in LA, she once had a podcast; unlike everyone else, she stays pretty zen in traffic. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

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