Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

Congressman, Immigration Activists Urge Obama to Act Before Elections

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gutierrez and immigration activists said the president can’t wait until after Nov. 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez and a group of immigrant-rights activists urged President Barack Obama Wednesday to unilaterally reduce deportations before the November elections, despite concerns such action could hurt vulnerable Democrats at the polls.

“Why wait until after the election?” the Illinois Democrat asked on a conference call with reporters, one day after White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest ducked questions on whether the president, who had promised action by summer’s end, is now considering waiting until after Nov. 4.

The Illinois Democrat and representatives from several activist groups said the political pluses for the Democratic Party far outweigh the minuses.

“We may lose seats in the House, we may lose seats in the Senate. Then they will simply say, ‘Oh, there they go, protecting those immigrants afterwards why didn’t they do it before? Because they were afraid.’ Let’s not be afraid of standing for our values, of standing for what we believe in as Democrats.”

He said Democrats who are publicly and privately urging caution from the White House have the political calculus wrong.

“I think I know what is in the president’s heart. So I say to the Democrats, stand aside, let the president make the decision, let him announce it. Stop this stopping the progress of our community toward justice.”

Gutierrez’s comments also came one day after Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said on conservative radio talker Hugh Hewitt’s show that bipartisan immigration efforts, which died earlier this summer after the issue played a role in the primary defeat of former majority leader Eric Cantor, could resurface next year in the 114th Congress — if Obama doesn’t blow it.

“I’ve outlined to the president in July that the House, the Congress, ought to be dealing with immigration reform,” Boehner said. “It wasn’t likely to happen this year because of the flood on the border, and the president’s own pounding his chest about using his phone and his pen. But I did outline that, you know, there’s a possibility that Congress could take this issue up next year.”

Gutiérrez, the leading proponent of immigrant rights on Capitol Hill, was joined on the press call by Lorella Praeli of United We Dream and Frank Sharry of America’s Voice.


Related stories:

Obama Hasn’t Decided When to Act on Immigration 

House Republicans Rally to Pass Border Funding Bill

Senate Fails to Pass Border Supplemental

Republicans Regroup on Border Funding Bill

Ted Cruz Rallies House Conservatives to End ‘Obama’s Amnesty’

White House Excoriates GOP Deportation Demands

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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  • JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    The rest of the Democrats must love this guy

  • bredwad8

    If there are any traders out there trading the Forex I wanted to warn you don’t waste your time I’ve been trying to make money with it for years! Go to the website Traders Superstore and get into trading the futures instead it’s much better now I’m making money trading and very happy.

  • wttexas

    the political games continue as the illegals walk into America,,,
    politicians just cannot wait for Obama or “the other guy”,to make a move on immigration,,,in order to pounce,,am I right ???

  • Santiago Alemedia

    Just what the long-term unemployed and returning veterans need–millions of illegals given work permits to compete with for too few jobs. Of course, forget about raising wages. The flood of new applicant will REDUCE wages and benefits for middle class and below. Such an action will only benefit illegal aliens and employers. The rest of American workers and legal residents will suffer again, if the Dems have their way.

    And then there are the hundred thousand “minors” walking across the Southern Border this year. Dems like that, too, and want to keep it that way.

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