Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) ripped House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for claiming that President Donald Trump wants “to make America white again,” saying the country doesn’t “need that type of rhetoric.” Manchin made his comments during an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“You know what, we don’t need that type of rhetoric on either side — from Nancy, [from Speaker of the House] Paul Ryan, or anybody else,” Manchin replied when host Jake Tapper asked him about Pelosi’s comments.
“I’m condemning all this crazy rhetoric that goes on. Just because someone’s a Republican is not — is not my enemy, and we have to work together,” he said.
Pelosi told the United States Conference of Mayors on Friday that Trump’s compromise immigration proposal to grant qualified amnesty to 1.8 million illegal immigrants is actually “a campaign to make America white again.”
Trump, according to Pelosi, supports “changing the character of the country” with his compromise proposal, which she said brought “a tear to the eye of the Statue of Liberty.”
Pelosi wants illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who qualified under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program to be allowed to remain in the United States.
Trump announced in September 2017 that he was rescinding DACA and gave Congress a deadline of March 2018 to come up with a legislative solution. Former President Barack Obama created DACA in 2012 via an executive order, which many legal experts view as unconstitutional because it supplanted the lawmaking authority of Congress.
“People come here with their hopes and dreams and aspirations and their optimism, their courage to make their future better for their families,” Pelosi said of illegal immigrants. She added that “these newcomers make America more American.”
“Instead of viewing it as something, in their word, ‘alien,’ [Republicans] should embrace it,” Pelosi said. “They are changing the character of our country by what they are putting forth. They bring a tear to the eye of the Statue of Liberty, and they bring fear to the hearts of people who are here playing by the rules.”
But Manchin dismissed Pelosi’s rhetoric while urging Congress to consider the principles laid out in the White House’s immigration proposal and to attempt to find common ground.
“We have the wall. We need to repair the wall. We’ll need to build more wall. We need to do whatever we can to secure the border, the borders,” Manchin said. “And I come down this — the president has laid out a template. We’re going to look at that template, and we’re going to work with it.”
Trump’s immigration proposal is controversial among Republicans as well as Democrats. In addition to the path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants, the plan also allots $25 billion for border wall funding and other security measures, restricts chain migration and ends the visa lottery.