One of the most prominent Democrats in favor of comprehensive immigration reform said he would no longer work with a group that has been organizing DREAMers to leave the country and re-enter seeking political asylum, accusing the group’s leader of making racist statements and manipulating illegal immigrants.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) denounced the National Immigrant Youth Allianace (NIYA), which was behind the “Dream 9” and “Dream 30,” for secretly recording conversations Gutierrez had with the parents of two DREAMers who were being held in a Texas detention center. Gutierrez said he would “no longer work with NIYA and DREAMActivist.org.,” which is an affiliate organization.
“It just shows me how dangerous they are,” Gutierrez told Fox News Latino of the recordings. “How Nixonian… Why target the leading voices in the Senate and House for immigration reform?”
The nine DREAMers in the “Dream 9” and the 30 DREAMers in the “Dream 30” have tried to use the publicity they have received after they re-entered the United States to get comprehensive immigration reform enacted. Some immigration advocates have criticized these tactics for being dangerous and potentially undermining their goal for comprehensive immigration reform.
According to Fox News Latino, “Gutierrez said the leader of NIYA, Mohammad Abdollahi, who was born in Iran and raised in Michigan, has expressed racist [anti-white] views on the Internet, and bragged about how hard it would be for the United States to deport a gay person to Iran.”
Gutierrez “said it bothers him that someone who feels no fear of deportation is organizing people who are subject to immigration enforcement for risky encounters with U.S. border officials.”
“The leadership is undeportable,” he said, “adding that Abdollahi and others who are at low risk are manipulating and exploiting other immigrants.”
Fox News Latino reported that though what Gutierrez may have said in the recorded conversations was unclear, “DREAMActivist.org alleged on its Twitter page that Gutierrez” asked one of the parents if they knew one of the leaders was gay: “‘Did you know he’s gay?’ – @LuisGutierrez, to #Dream30 parents about 1 of our founders. Guess he hoped subtle homophobia would go a long way.'”
“That meeting was… recorded surreptitiously by NIYA, without the knowledge of the parents, the Congressman or his staff,” Gutierrez said in a statement on Monday. “It is unfortunate that the actions of the advocates in this case are preventing this office from being able to work with parents and family who are understandably and rightly concerned for the safety of their son or daughter.”
Earlier on Monday, “two of the Dream 30 who were released from detention were arrested after refusing to leave the offices of Gutierrez and Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX).” As Breitbart News reported, NIYA has been trying to make illegal immigrants a new “social class” and have organized groups of illegal immigrant DREAMers who have gone to Mexico and re-entered the United States seeking asylum.
Gutierrez emphasized to Fox News Latino that he asked if the parents knew the NIYA leader was gay because he “wanted the parents to understand they’re being manipulated by someone who is bullet-proof” in terms of being deported.
The split between Gutierrez and NIYA comes as immigration activists have been urging Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship. And the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) quickly urged “supporters of the immigrant rights movement to keep our eyes” on the prize that is a pathway to citizenship for all of the country’s illegal immigrants.