Nancy Pelosi calls on Obama to halt deportations

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has joined the call for President Obama to halt deportations, saying that just being in the country illegally is not enough reason for illegal immigrants to be sent home.

In remarks over the weekend to Telemundo, a Spanish-language network, Mrs. Pelosi said illegal immigrants must have notched serious criminal charges to merit deportation — contradicting federal law that says the presumption is against, not with, illegal immigrants.

“Our view of the law is that it — if somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation,” she said in the interview, which an immigrant-rights group posted on its website. “If somebody has broken the law, committed a felony or something, that’s a different story.”

She becomes the highest-ranking Democrat to call for Mr. Obama to halt deportations while Congress is trying to work out a broader deal on an immigration bill that could provide legal status, and possibly a chance at citizenship, for most illegal immigrants.

Mr. Obama is increasingly facing pressure from his left flank over deportations.

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