On Tuesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) compared President Barack Obama’s forthcoming executive amnesty to the desegregation of the U.S. military.
Gutierrez, who has been one of the most vocal pro-amnesty advocates, said on the House floor that President Harry Truman unilaterally desegregated the military because he “knew that legislation mandating desegregation would not pass through the U.S. Congress, which was dominated by Southern segregationists whom, it is worth remembering, were just like Truman–Democrats.”
Gutierrez compared himself to Truman by saying they were both plain-talking Democrats from the Midwest who made other Democrats uncomfortable. He then said that Truman “used his pen, and we celebrate his courage today.”
The difference Gutierrez saw between Truman and Obama was not that Truman used executive action to give equal treatment to Americans under the law while Obama would be using executive action to give special treatment to illegal immigrants who did not abide by the rule of law. Instead, Gutierrez said the “one big difference” between what Truman did and what Obama is considering is that Truman never asked Congress first for legislation.
Gutierrez, who asked the White House for interest in the form of a bigger and broader executive amnesty after the White House asked him for “forbearance” for missing its “by the end of summer deadline,” said that Obama “has a responsibility to act, even when Congress refuses to do so.” Never mind that Obama has stated numerous times that he has no authority to unilaterally stop all deportations. Even Jonathan Turley, professor at the liberal George Washington University, has said that Obama’s executive amnesty would be a “dangerous” and “unprecedented” threat to the constitutional system.
However, Gutierrez declared that, just like the 1950s and the 1960s, “it will be time for this Congress to catch up to the executive branch and reality.”