On Thursday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) praised pro-amnesty advocates like Haley Barbour, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as “enlightened Republicans” and slammed Breitbart News for opposing his amnesty agenda.
After saying earlier in the week that George W. Bush would be the last Republican president if Congress does not pass amnesty legislation, Gutierrez offered more unsolicited advice by urging conservatives to follow Barbour, McCain, and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who co-wrote the Senate’s amnesty bill, instead of Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian, who said that there was no difference between Gutierrez and Barbour on amnesty issues.
“Enlightened Republicans like Haley Barbour – and a lot of other national Republican leaders from George W. Bush to Jeb Bush to [Chris Christie] – are trying to get more of their Republican brothers and sisters to see they are coming down on the wrong side of the law and order debate on immigration,” Gutierrez said in his keynote address at a National Journal immigration event. “I think Republicans are smart enough to walk away from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Mark Krikorian and head in the direction of Haley Barbour, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).”
Gutierrez, who has urged President Barack Obama to flout the country’s immigration laws even more, then took issue with a Breitbart News report on his Senate Subcommittee testimony earlier in the week.
“Breitbart, in completely misreading my written testimony at a hearing in Chicago on Monday, said I said that every institution in America should [quote] ‘ignore or work around federal immigration laws,'” Gutierrez said, “which is what I imagine their fantasy version of Luis Gutiérrez is saying in every speech.”
In fact, Gutierrez actually misread the Breitbart News story, which said Gutierrez “suggested” – not “said” – that “until Congress passes sweeping amnesty legislation, ‘every institution in America’ should find ways to ignore or work around federal immigration laws.”
At a Senate Subcommittee hearing on Monday, Gutierrez said:
The fact that we have an estimated 11 million or more people living and working here underground is a serious national problem that must be resolved. We have as a society rightly concluded that driving out 11 million people and their families is bad policy. But leaving the status quo is no solution, either.
In the meantime, every institution in America, including our military, must work around the inability of our federal government and the U.S. House of Representatives to fix our immigration system.
DACA is an important first step in implementing modern immigration policies that reflect our values and strengthen our nation. Next we must fully incorporate DACA recipients and their families and the millions of immigrants who live among us into our society.
Earlier in his opening testimony on Monday, Gutierrez also said that, until Congress passes amnesty legislation, “our society must work around the fact that our immigration laws are thirty years out-of-date and the military is no exception.”
On Thursday, Gutierrez said that he was looking forward “to working with Secretary Jeh Johnson and President Obama to see what we can do administratively to dial back deportations” and go around Congress if Congress does not pass amnesty legislation this year. Senate Democrats later threatened that Obama may have to act alone if the House, as Barbour said, did not have the votes to move on amnesty.