U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) has been traveling the country on an “Immigration Action National Tour,” gathering foreign nationals illegally present in the United States, organizing them to rally for comprehensive immigration reform, and guiding them in applying for legal status under President Obama’s executive amnesty plans–DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability).
On Saturday in Los Angeles, following an earlier, similar event at the University of Southern California, Gutierrez joined U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) at Panorama High School in what was the last event listed on his cross-country tour.
Cardenas, who represents the 29th congressional district, told the audience of DACA and DAPA potential applicants that “unfortunately” many members of Congress think they only represent citizens and voters, but he also represented illegal aliens. As he told the crowd, “I represent all of you.” He added:
If you are here as a human being in the United States of America, you have rights, you deserve to live in dignity, but unfortunately, until we pass comprehensive immigration reform, right now there’s about 12 million people, men, women, children, who are living in the shadows. But I want to thank our President and thank God for his actions of DACA and DAPA, because now at least 5 million people are, so in the near future will be able to come out of the shadows and be one with their families and be one with their country.
Referencing Texas Judge Andrew Hanen’s recent decision to stay implementation of President Obama’s executive amnesty while the constitutionality of the order’s implementation is determined, Cardenas told the crowd:
There’s a judge in Texas, don’t be afraid of him, he is not the last word. He made a decision and that decision is not final. The reason why we’re here today is because you and me, we as a community as individuals, as families need to prepare and be ready. Then when his decision is overturned, DACA and DAPA will be implemented. And today we brought lawyers, we even brought clergy, we brought the most awesome Congressman in Washington [gesturing toward Gutierrez], that without him, DACA and DAPA wouldn’t be 5 million people.
Cardenas instructed the crowd to tell others, “Don’t be afraid, that judge was wrong and sooner than later, in a few months, we are gonna have salvation.” He also said:
In this country, it is time, that immigrants, like many of you, like my mother and father, that we accept the fact that we are a good part of this country and that without us, immigrants, this country would not have the economic power that it has. We clean people’s homes, we clean their yards, we change their babies’ diapers, and yes even some of us go to the moon like Jose Hernandez who started off working in the fields. Let me correct myself, he’s an astronaut, he didn’t go to the moon, but he passed right by it.
In introducing Gutierrez, Cardenas called the fellow Congressman his mentor, someone he owes so much to, and the “number one human being in the United States of America who is a member of Congress who has kept our dreams alive, the dream of comprehensive immigration reform.”
Gutierrez expressed great thanks to those that sent Cardenas to Washington: “Thank you so much for sending that breathe of fresh air.” The two have become close allies–and, according to Gutierrez, they talk every day. “It is fun to fight with Tony Cardenas on your side.”
Gutierrez told the crowd: “…we have an incredible opportunity to sign people up–Congressman Cardenas and I, we have family defenders around.” He continued, “You have people here to protect you.”
…we need comprehensive immigration reform so that it doesn’t matter where you live in the United States, there is one law, one protection, one justice for every immigrant whether they’re picking oranges in Florida or strawberries in South Carolina, whether they’re apples, whether they’re picking grapes or lettuce or tomato or onions or garlic in the south of Texas. Regardless of where you live there is one law that says we are going to protect workers regardless of their immigrant status.
He added that he did not want to see an immigrant woman taken advantage of financially or in “her body and her soul by corrupt men in the United States of America.”
He told the crowd, “So we’re going to take 5 million people, so what are we saying? We’re saying come forward if you’ve been here five years, if you have American citizen children or permanent resident children.” He told potential applicants to have their fingerprints taken “with your own money, cause the government won’t pay for it, submit to a criminal background check.”
Gutierrez told the crowd that he and Cardenas lobbied for 11 million illegal aliens to gain citizenship, but that the number had been negotiated down.
The crowd began chanting, “Si, se puede.”
In addition, the audience was told that many lawyers had come that day to counsel illegal aliens seeking status through Obama’s executive actions.
Local church leader Jim Tolle, who had introduced a number of the speakers that day, instructed the crowd to go to church and impact those people “for what you and I believe in.” The crowd was then told to call elected officials whether or not they can vote yet.
The Consul General from Angola also addressed the audience that day.
Aside from Breitbart News, the only other media outlet that appeared to be present at the event was Univision.
Video of Reps. Cardenas and Gutierrez is available at posted online.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana