On Sunday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said critics of President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty are acting as if Obama took House Speaker John Boehner’s gavel after his State of the Union address in January when Obama declared he would not hesitate to act unilaterally on issues like immigration.
On Face the Nation, Gutierrez said that listening to critics of executive amnesty, “anybody would think that the President of the United States, when he gave the State of the Union address last January, kind of took the gavel away from the Speaker of the House after he finished his State of the Union address.”
Critics of Obama’s amnesty–like Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX)–have called on Congress to use its power of the purse to prohibit the White House from using federal funds to enact Obama’s executive amnesty.
Gutierrez–who previously has said that he would accept a piecemeal solution to immigration only if he gets all of the pieces in the Senate’s amnesty bill–said that since Republicans control Congress, they could have passed an amnesty bill after the Senate passed its “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill. He said, “we could have been in conference right now.” He also called on Congress to pass a more permanent amnesty bill before illegal immigrants start applying to receive executive amnesty in about 180 days.
He claimed that because of Obama’s executive action, more resources will be shifted to catching criminal illegal aliens even though former Obama administration officials have said that the chances are slim that illegal immigrants who are not the most violent of criminals will be deported. He told host Bob Schieffer that, “I’m sure you feel better and I feel better that they’re paying taxes. I’m sure, you and I feel better that they have gone through a background check. Now we can put the resources on criminals.”
Gutierrez said because of Obama’s executive action, “we’re not deporting a thousand people every day who do not present a threat to America.”
Gutierrez, whom Obama flew on Air Force One to Las Vegas for his executive amnesty victory lap, will also help Obama sell his executive amnesty in Chicago next week with Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff.