During a townhall event held in 2011, Rep. Luis said the failure of comprehensive immigration reform was the fault of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.
“We failed, the Democratic Party failed, the administration failed, we failed as a party to get it done,” Gutiérrez told a crowd of immigration activists. The focus of the event, which took place at a church on Staten Island on October 1, 2011, was to discuss the Obama administration’s first executive action on immigration. Known as “prosecutorial discretion” it de-prioritized the deportation of certain groups of immigrants, i.e. those who arrived as children or had a long history in the country and no criminal record.
In the midst of talking about the new executive action, Gutiérrez lamented that the moment for comprehensive immigration reform was over, saying no one though it was possible. “Not with the kind of Congress that we have in the House of Representatives,” Gutiérrez said.
Gutiérrez has been one of the biggest proponents of comprehensive reform in the House. He recently declared that the chance for a bipartisan bill was dead. He encouraged the President to move forward with more executive action on immigration saying, “The president has no other choice but to act on existing laws to make deportation policies more humane.”