Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) spoke in candid terms to the program "Democracy Now" on Monday over the process to "push [Obama] hard" to get immigration reform. Gutierrez mentioned that the president did "go around the legislative process" but that it was necessary because it was what a "majority" of America wanted. Praising the ruling, the congressman said "this is the Barack Obama we voted for" right after explaining that the president agreed to "do something from an executive level."
Gutierrez hoped Marco Rubio would join him in adulation of the president. He also disparaged Romney, stating the Republican candidate for president would not "use the power of the presidency" in this radical way. Gutierrez finished his comments by announcing that "being safe in America is like the best example of democracy."
Democratic Rep. Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s Immigration Task Force
Key Quotes From REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ:
"If you were a DREAMer, you had to be caught by ICE, by Immigration Control and Enforcement, and then you could appeal for discretion, and indeed—let's be—let’s be real clear—in the immense majority of the cases, you were granted relief—that is, you were not deported."
"And, you know, Juan is absolutely right in reporting that this did go around the legislative process. That’s only to a certain degree true, because let’s remember that we led the fight in November of 2010 and passed the DREAM Act in—216 to 198 in the House. And indeed, we got 51 Democratic senators and four Republicans the next month, except that wasn’t enough. It was 60 votes."
"So, if you look, what Obama is doing is a reflection of the stated will of both the House and the Senate, and indeed the majority of people that live in the United States of America."
"When we couldn’t pass the DREAM Act, because there were five senators who wouldn’t vote for closure back in December of 2010, we went to see the president a couple of days before Christmas in 2010, and we said, 'We need to do something from an executive level.'"
"The president agreed to do that. We had to take on our own president of our own party, somebody who we wish nothing but—I mean, he’s the leader, right? And we had to push our leader. We had to push him hard to get this done. And so, I’m really, really delighted, because each and every time we kept going back, and we did it quietly, but we did it in a meaningful, consecutive manner."
"This is the Barack Obama we voted for. We’re happy that he is our leader and our champion. We want to continue to work with him and redouble our efforts so that we can expand relief and we can expand justice."
"I’m going to a meeting with the LGBT community, in a few minutes, when we finish this conversation, and what we’re going to talk about is immigration policy and how it is we keep those families together. And our Democratic Party is beginning to reflect the values and its traditions, given the actions of the president."
"I hope that now Senator Rubio will say, 'You know? Good move on part of the president of the United States.' That isn’t what he said last Friday. He criticized the president’s decision."
"You juxtapose [Mitt Romney] to somebody who said, 'You know what? I’m going to use the power of the presidency to take a group of people and take executive action so that they’re not deported, so that they’re not hurt, until the Congress of the United States does their job.'"
"Tens of thousands of people applying for a work permit and being safe in America is like the best example of democracy. All right? It’s like saying, 'Come on down, and we’re going to give you the kind of government documentation that’s going to free you from the fear that you live in, and it’s going to allow you to go out there and work and get a driver’s license and continue on with your life, until the legislative branch of government.' I think that’s justice, and I think that’s democracy. And I can’t wait to see those lines, because I’m going to be in those lines making sure that all the documents are filled out appropriately."