Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 2, 2014

Gutierrez Defends Calling Obama ‘Deporter in Chief’

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez defended his characterization of President Barack Obama as “deporter in chief” during a conference call with immigration activists on Friday.

The Illinois Democrat noted, however, that even though he called the president out for not using executive orders to stop deportations, he still supports him.

“I called the president deporter in chief,” he told reporters on the call organized by America’s Voice. “That is not contradictory with the president being the champion in chief. Look, I want the president to be bill-signer in chief.”

Gutiérrez, a vocal advocate for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws and a one-time lead negotiator in efforts to advance bipartisan legislation, delivered a floor speech earlier this week in which he slammed Obama for allowing more deportations during his administration than during the tenures of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

At the House Democratic Caucus retreat in Cambridge, Md., last month, Obama told lawmakers in a closed-door question-and-answer session that there are limits to his executive authority when it comes to stopping deportations.

“When I see politicians hiding behind excuses, I feel compelled to call them out on it,” Gutiérrez said. “[It's] dishonest for President Obama to say his hands are tied and there’s nothing more he can do.”

Obama wasn’t the only public official Gutiérrez took to task on Friday.

“Just because I’m saying to the president there is more he can do on deportation doesn’t mean that the speaker … or anyone else is off the hook,” he said.

“Republicans are sitting on their hands,” continued Gutiérrez, naming Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, and the other lawmakers of the House Republican Conference who are still refusing to schedule floor consideration for any immigration overhaul bill. “We see it every day.”

  • Doug

    If Gutiérrez wants to surrounded by his homey’s maybe he should just move to Mexico. However, I would suggest that he buy a gun, a big gun, to take with him.

  • PISM

    Mr. Gutierrez is a big hypocrite, he wants citizenship and voting rights for immigrants, aliens, or illegals (because of Mr. Gutierrez I don’t care about the labels that much) He wants them to be fully integrated in our society in order that they can be able to vote for him. But he refuse to advocate for the same rights for the American Citizens of Puerto Rico, ironically he is Puerto Rican. Puerto Ricans were born American Citizens but my island is only U. S. Soil not a state so they can be sent to wars to defend civil rights meanwhile they have been disenfranchised. He is also a traitor because he support a governor that has business with communist dictator that hate U. S. A. (Nicolas Maduro). He hate statehood for Puerto Rico but he lives in a state and is elected to Congress to represent a district of that state; oh well; SUCH IS LIFE. Somebody must, should or better HAVE to ask him why statehood with full citizenship is good for immmigrants and not for Puerto Ricans that are already citizens. By the way there are more Puerto Ricans living in U. S. A. than in P. R. Someone brave enough to confront Mr. Gutierrez with this paradox, this big contradiction.

  • 2formetoo

    How or WHOM elects these people??? Gutierrez is NOT interested in helping the people of IL (which is badly needed), or the citizens of the US, or our country. All he is interested in and has worked for years on it, is helping ILLEGAL Aliens gain citizenship here in the US.
    He makes he ill everytime I hear him spreading his propaganda.

  • Santiago Alemedia

    Gutierrez is wrong on many counts, not only because in fact, deportations have decreased significantly under Obama administration which now counts “turnarounds” as part of their deportation figures, which was never done before.

    Why does Gutierrez hate legal immigration so much? Why does he prefer illegal aliens to legal immigrants?

    We need to spend more time celebrating legal immigration, not focusing on line jumpers, cheaters and liars.

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