Pelosi: Republicans Are Stalling on Immigration Reform Because of Racial Issues

"I've heard them say to the Irish, 'If it was just you, it would be easy,' " Pelosi told reporters.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answers questions during a press conference October 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. Pelosi answered questions on the problems surrounding the website for the Affordable Care Act during her remarks. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (National Journal)

Race is at the heart of House Republicans' reluctance to pass an immigration overhaul this year, Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday.

"I think race has something to do with them not bringing up the immigration bill. I've heard them say to the Irish, 'If it was just you, it would be easy,' " the House minority leader said, when asked about Republicans' views on race in general.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill later clarified that she heard about those Republican comments from Irish immigration activists who visited Capitol Hill earlier this year.

But, Hammill added, "actions speak louder than words," noting that Republicans have refused to vote on the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, while passing an amendment from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, that would force the federal government to deport more "Dreamers."

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