Congressman Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, released a statement following the passage of the Senate immigration bill on Thursday night. Gutierrez is one of seven Members of a bipartisan group in the House crafting an immigration reform measure. And he’s putting pressure directly on his friend, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH):
“Yes we can! The Senate acted and now the leadership in the House must determine how and when we also act in a bipartisan way. This is a great moment, but we are only halfway to the finish line.
“As they say in the NFL draft, ‘Mr. Boehner, you are on the clock.’ Every passing day will put more pressure on Speaker Boehner to act or else have the House Republicans once again be seen as an obstacle to enacting popular, sensible legislation for the American people.
“I believe that a bipartisan approach in the House is the only approach that will solve the political problem facing the Republican Party — that their positions on immigration make them look anti-immigrant and anti-Latino. House Republicans cannot change this perception significantly unless they work with House Democrats to reach a bipartisan solution.
“To my Republican friends I say, Democrats are the only ones who can help save you from yourselves, but we can only extend our hand. We cannot make you take it.
“The bills we have been offered in the House Judiciary Committee could have been written — and in most cases, were written — before November 6th of last year. They don’t reflect the desire of the American people to find a bipartisan solution. They reduce legal immigration, punish those who have applied to come legally, undermine the rule of law, make our borders and our neighborhoods less safe, encourage illegal immigration, and drive immigrants off-the-books and further into the black market. They do not take a sensible or helpful approach that will garner support in both parties and actually help fix our immigration system.”
Congressman Gutierrez told Breitbart News on Wednesday that Speaker John Boehner is a “friend and ally” in the immigration reform fight, saying, “I think Speaker Boehner wants comprehensive immigration reform. He wants a solution to the problem. I think he’s for comprehensive immigration reform.” Gutierrez later added, “He’s for a complete package, I believe. That’s what he has said. My meeting with him last week leads me to no other conclusion but to affirm that.”