Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat leader of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday said she now backs an unlimited influx of illegal child immigrants into the United States from Central America.

Pelosi had earlier said she would support changes to a Bush-era law expediting the deportation of children in exchange for Republican backing of Obama’s emergency $3.7 billion request for a government response to the unprecedented flood of underaged immigrants. The law was initially designed to address sex trafficking.

The California Democrat withdrew support after Republicans balked at the huge funding request. House Republicans characterized the funding as a “blank check” without any change in policy.

“I do think the bill that was introduced is exactly the wrong way to go,” Pelosi said. “Is the only immigration bill we’re going to have one that hurts children?”

She said the Congressional Hispanic Caucus stands against changing the law and the House Democrat caucus will follow their lead.

“This crisis is an opportunity to demonstrate who we are as a country,” Ms. Pelosi added.

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