On Sunday, a day after President Barack Obama decided to delay his executive amnesty until after the midterms, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said he expects to meet with Obama this week and “go back to the drawing board” on the way forward.
Gutierrez also blasted Obama for “playing it safe” on executive actions and “walking away from our values and our principles” because of bad polling in “four or five” red states where Senate Democrats face uphill battles for reelection. Senate leaders, fully aware of the blowback Democrats would receive if Obama enacted executive amnesty, urged Obama to delay his action.
“I’ve called the president, called the White House, I expect that we will be meeting this week so that we can continue,” Gutierrez said on ABC’s This Week. “So I’m going to go back to the drawing board. And I’m going to continue to work with this administration. I’m not going to give up, because we have good public policy.”
Gutierrez said that the illegal immigrant community was “in a good place with [Homeland] Secretary Johnson,” who provided Obama with his recommendations for executive actions on immigration.
“I think he is fighting every day to keep us safe both here, externally, from threats externally and internally in the United States,” he said of Johnson. “And I think he’s a man of compassion.”
Gutierrez also emphasized that the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants should be given an opportunity to come out of the shadows, which Gutierrez said “means not being hunted down, that means not being treated like a fugitive.”
After falsely repeating the talking point that Obama is the so-called “deporter-in-chief,” Gutierrez said his delay on executive amnesty will cause “a lot of anguish and anger” in a community that is already feeling a a lot of “pain and suffering.”
“Playing it safe might win an election,” he said. “Sometimes you lose an election playing it safe also.”
Gutierrez had expected that Obama would “go big” on amnesty. He recently met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and pro-amnesty advocates and vowed that Chicago would lead on implementing Obama’s executive amnesty. Gutierrez also said that he and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus had urged Obama to be “broad” in his executive action when they gave Obama a wish list, which included temporary amnesty for everyone who would have qualified for a pathway to citizenship under the Senate’s comprehensive amnesty bill.