Pelosi responded to the protesters’ concerns with exasperation.

“It’s clear you don’t want any answers,” she told them, before leaving the press conference.


Sandy Valenciano, one of the young undocumented protesters at the press conference, explained her frustrations with Pelosi and her fellow Democrats in Congress for the Huffington Post:

Past actions against working class people and immigrants of color give us reason to be concerned about recent negotiation with President Donald Trump. When back-door deals are made without directly-impacted community members - who can provide solutions that matter ― they can wreak long-term effects and sow divisions amongst our communities.

The Democratic Party plays into Trump’s tactics while pretending to put up a fight. Instead, party leaders endanger the lives of people of color by taking middle-of-the-road stances on issues that affect the lives of immigrants. Democrats have long kept their doors closed to community members and chosen to advance the agendas of corporate lobbyists and donors instead. Immigrant communities have not forgotten that Pelosi stood behind programs like Secure Communities (S-Comm) and the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP-Comm), policies that streamlined deportations in communities that are already heavily over-policed.


Jaffe agrees Democrats are naive to treat Trump—a man who kicked off his presidential campaign by describing Mexicans as murderers and rapists—to be a good-faith negotiator when it comes to immigration reform.

“I’m very wary and skeptical of making deals with people who have a long established track record of breaking their word,” he said. “I think she gave away a very strong bargaining chip for the Democrats by agreeing to this short-term extension of the national debt ceiling. What’s going to happen after a couple of months? We’re going to be right back where we started from.”


Jaffe, for his part, is still working to build up name recognition in San Francisco and nationally. He has been endorsed by Tim Canova, who lost his primary bid against Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in Florida, and Rob Quist, who lost his Montana House race to Rep. Greg “The Body Slam” Gianforte. He is being vetted as a candidate by Justice Democrats and by Our Revolution.

Jaffe says one problem with Democrats in Congress is being purely reactive to Republicans’ agenda, rather than putting forth their own proposals.


“I think it’s very important for the Democrats, when the Republicans propose something—whether it’s immigration or tax reform or whatever it is—to not just say, ‘No no no no no! This is wrong wrong wrong!’” he said. “I would try to put forth and propose a viable alternative to what they are proposing, rather than just being reactive to them. I think that’s been the big problem with the Democratic Party, and why we find ourselves where we are today.”