U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) isn’t letting a judge’s orders keep him from a cross-country tour that landed in Los Angeles this weekend, counseling illegal aliens on how to apply for Obama’s executive actions on immigration–DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability)–and to stay in the country with newly minted legal status.
At the first event, Gutierrez joined a sparse but lively crowd at the University of Southern California (USC), complete with copious amounts of materials regarding DAPA, DACA and AB60, California’s illegal alien driver license program.
U.S. Rep Karen Bass (D-CA) of the 37th congressional district partnered with Gutierrez for the “Immigration Town Hall”; however, Bass appeared solely in a video message, saying she was called away on short notice to represent President Obama at Namibia’s Presidential inauguration.
In initial comments from the facilitator of the forum, courts were blamed for holding up Obama’s executive action, referring to a recent decision by Texas Judge Andrew Hanen to stay implementation of the effective executive amnesty while the constitutionality of the order’s implementation is determined. An estimated 4.5 million foreign nationals currently illegally present in the U.S. could receive legal status under the DAPA and DACA programs.
Though the program was primarily conducted in Spanish, it was pointed out that not only Mexican or Latino persons illegally present are eligible to receive legal status.
The reception for Gutierrez was mixed, as protesters showed up with their own questions for the amnesty-advocating Representative. Tension filled the room as dueling chants came from separate factions, with immigration enforcement activists calling out “USA” and DAPA and DACA inquirers chanting “Si, se puede.”
After key parameters for DACA and DAPA qualifications were explained, Gutierrez reflected on his previous tour stop in San Jose, commenting on the projected increase in the American Latino population in coming years. He also honed in on agricultural workers, and abuses against workers illegally present in the U.S. Gutierrez then harkened back to the story of his own parents coming legally to the U.S. from Puerto Rico, only to be met by accusations of racism and prejudice.
Though he said he would stay for the duration of the program, Gutierrez left before the Q&A portion of the program and headed to a separate event at a high school in nearby Van Nuys.
One of the event protesters asked the panelists to explain the economic impact of illegal immigration on the black community . Sharp said only that there were studies that show a boost to the economy from the legalization program.
One of the more interesting questions came when an audience member asked what would happen to their children if those children were not on Obamacare. Leon responded that this is not a problem, and that “there is insurance available for undocumented individuals and it does not have to be Obamacare.”
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