On Tuesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is the GOP 2016 contender who has the best positions on amnesty for illegal immigrants.
At the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, Gutierrez was asked which GOP presidential candidate he “would be able to work with best” on immigration issues.
“We have to stay with the Bush family,” Gutierrez responded while praising George W. Bush for trying twice to get comprehensive amnesty legislation last decade.
Jeb Bush, who has said that illegal immigration is an “act of love,” said last week in New Hampshire that he thought awarding legal status to illegal immigrants is a “rational” and “thoughtful” way of dealing with the issue.
Gutierrez also praised Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as one of “many good, strong voices in the Republican Party… for immigration reform.”
“You all remember that Paul Ryan came to Chicago with me… and he stood with me at the podium and said he is for comprehensive immigration with a pathway to citizenship… a mere six months after losing his bid for the vice presidency of the United States,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez added, though, that since the “vast majority” of House Republican caucus is not for immigration reform, there is only so much political capital Representatives like Ryan are willing to spend on amnesty issues.
Though, as Breitbart News has emphasized, “the civil rights movement of the 1960s was about ensuring that black Americans received all of the rights they were due as citizens of the United States while today’s pro-amnesty movement is about demanding full rights for non-citizens who entered the country illegally,” Gutierrez again compared the amnesty movement to the civil rights movement.
He said leaders in the civil rights movement did not worry about whether marching on Selma, for instance, would be bad for the midterm elections. Gutierrez declared that the “immigration movement has to stand alone and separate from the Democratic and the Republican Party” in order to win and thrive.
Perhaps Gutierrez was taking a veiled shot at David Axelrod, who moderated the conversation and is the director of the Institute for Politics.
Last year, after Axelrod suggested that his former boss, President Barack Obama, should “shelve” his executive amnesty, Gutierrez blistered Axelrod on the House floor.
“David Axelrod, safe in the confines of the University of Chicago, has no sense of urgency because none of his family members or neighbors are facing deportation,” Gutierrez said last year while referencing “unhelpful Democrats,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “But it is a little different on my side of Chicago.”
Gutierrez predicted that Obama’s executive orders “are going to be key in the debate of the presidency of the united states… do you support it? Will you expand it? Will you protect it?”
He said how candidates “speak to those executive orders…. is going to be fundamental” in getting the Latino vote.
Though the New York Times and the Washington Post have published studies showing that Republicans do indeed have a path to the White House in 2016 and beyond without getting massive increases in the Latino vote, Gutierrez argued that he did not think Republicans can win the White House in 2016 “if they do not change” on immigration and amnesty.