House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caused outrage Friday when she attempted to justify waves of illegal migration to the US by claiming Florida farmers needed the new arrivals to “pick the crops down there.”
The California Democrat made the stunning remarks during a news conference at which she agreed that US has a responsibility to secure the border, but should also “recognize the importance of newcomers to our nation.”
“Right now, the best thing that we can do for our economy is comprehensive immigration reform,” Pelosi told reporters after being asked if she thought the southern border was secure following more than two million arrests of illegal crossers over the past 12 months.
“We have a shortage of workers in our country, and you see even in Florida, some of the farmers and the growers saying: ‘Why are you shipping these immigrants up north? We need them to pick the crops down here,’” she mused.
Without mentioning any names, Pelosi’s comments were an obvious dig at Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis after he orchestrated the transfer of dozens of migrants from Texas to the wealthy liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts earlier this month.
DeSantis’ fellow Republican governors — Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona — have already bussed hundreds of migrants to so-called “sanctuary cities”, including New York and Washington DC, this year.
Pelosi received furious backlash on Twitter — with many accusing her of suggesting the US should take open its borders to take advantage of “cheap foreign labor.”
Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted: “It’s clear Pelosi and Democrats are exploiting illegal aliens and only view them as cheap labor.”
Other critics accused Pelosi of racism for stereotyping migrants as farm workers.
“Nancy Pelosi thinks immigrants should be picking crops,” the Republican National Committee’s RNC Latinos Twitter account posted. “When Democrats show you their true colors, believe them.”
“Hard to believe immigrants who have become American citizens are starting to vote Republican when the leader of the congressional Democrat party views them only as fruit pickers,” tweeted Republican consultant Nathan Wurtzel.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform added: “For Democrats, mass immigration checks two boxes: 1. More future voters 2. Cheap foreign labor.”
“Nancy Pelosi truly is the spitting image of Lucille Bluth,” Jason Howerton said, referring to the “Arrested Development” character played by Jessica Walter. “So out of touch it almost feels like satire.”
“The Martha’s Vineyard migrant flight is the gift that just keeps on giving,” cracked Washington Examiner commentary editor Conn Carroll.
“I want you to imagine for a second what would happen if Trump said ‘we need the immigrants down south to pick our crops’ instead of Pelosi,” mused Caleb Hull.