Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Speaker of the House, in a Dec. 15, 2005 U.S. House official press release entitled "Pelosi Statement on National Immigration Policy," stated:

“This provision [in H.R. 4437], …[to] make it a federal crime, instead of a civil offense, to be in the United States in violation of an immigration law or regulation… would turn millions of immigrants currently here into criminals, hindering their ability to acquire any legal status – and would effectively frustrate the proposals that would provide real immigration reform… Republicans have proposed a bill that is an abomination of the worst kind. It calls upon the worst political and most craven impulses. It is a failure of leadership – a failure of moral leadership.”

Dec. 15, 2005