Politico's top immigration reporter, Seung Min Kim, writes in a December 16 article that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is speaking out against the current pace of deportations. According to the article, Pelosi told Telemundo that the Obama administration should exercise some discretion about who is being deported, and that she had seen deportations that were "totally unjustified" in her home town of San Francisco.

See Nancy Pelosi pushes Obama on deportations


According to Kim's article, Pelosi said:

"Our view of the law is, if someone is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation...If someone has broken the law or committed a felony or something, that is a different story."

Purely as a matter of law, even the strongest immigration advocates may have some serious questions about how accurate Pelosi's interpretation is, since being present in the US without legal status is indeed a ground for deportation, in and of itself.

However, if Pelosi's statement is taken as meaning that not every deportable person should actually be deported, based on exercise of administrative discretion, it is hard to argue with her.

But this puts Pelosi on a collision course with her fellow Democrat, President Barack Obama.

Kim writes:

"Still, the comments [by Pelosi] could raise the profile of an issue that has become an uncomfortable source of conflict between the Obama administration and immigrant-rights activists."

She also writes:

"But as reform languishes on Capitol Hill, attention has been turning toward the administration."

It would not be surprising if reform does a lot more languishing in the House in the upcoming 2014 election year, and a good deal more attention turns to the question of just how long the president can continue to get away politically with deporting over 1,000 people a day, since he has never had any moral or human rights justification for his policy of mass deportations.