Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is reportedly working on legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for all of the country’s illegal immigrants, is an ally in his quest to legalize all of the country’s illegal immigrants.
“So, when I sit down and talk to people, I clear the table, so I can see Paul Ryan not as budget chairman, not as somebody whose budget I have voted and will always vote against, but as a friend and an ally to free 11 million people,” Gutierrez said on Democracy Now. “So, I create new friendships and new relationships in regards to comprehensive immigration reform, because, let’s face it, Democrats didn’t do it in 2007, 2008–we were in the majority. Democrats didn’t do it in 2009 and 2010–we were in the majority. Now we’ve got to do it.”
Gutierrez, who has also indicated that Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) was working on immigration legislation with the intention of going to conference with the Senate, said it was his job to “to figure out a way to take our minority of 201 Democrats and get to 218 votes.” He said, “There’s only one way you can do that, and that’s working with Republicans.”
The Senate has already passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship to all of the country’s illegal immigrants, a bill the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of working class Americans while not solving the illegal immigration problem.
Gutierrez is a leading proponent of comprehensive immigration reform and is a part of a group of Representatives that were working on drafting a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the House. He was also recently arrested for civil disobedience as part of a rally in support of immigration reform during the government shutdown.