In an appearance on MSNBC’s “All In” on Monday, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) reacted to remarks made by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” suggesting that the thousands of illegal youth streaming across the U.S.-Mexico border should be deported at once.
As others have pointed out, such a move might be illegal and it’s a point Gutiérrez echoed in his response to the question from “All In” host Chris Hayes.
However, Gutiérrez suggested there might be more behind the push from Labrador and others, including the Tea Party, which Gutiérrez said could be targeting President Barack Obama for articles of impeachment, should he follow through and violate the law.
“I think, you know, he is a good lawyer,” Gutiérrez said of Labrador. He is smarter than that statement would lead you to believe – no, he just is. I worked for him with months in the Gang of Eight, four Republicans and four Democrats trying to craft immigration legislation. He is very knowledgeable and he is a lawyer, specializes a lot of immigration, and he is just wrong. Look, what I would say to Raul is it’s not that it’s difficult, it’s not that it’s harsh — it’s illegal. It is well-established jurisprudence in the United States and I’m going to use two – 2002 Homeland Security Act. It says, you must treat unaccompanied minors differently. And it codifies an agreement in 1997 that says, ‘Look, when children arrive you can’t expedite they’re removal. You must give them a court case. You must put them in the least restrictive environment, and you need to put them in a place which is best for them, taking into consideration their best interests, and that is usually apparent.’”
“But wait, that was 2002, Homeland Security. Dick Armey introduced the legislation, George Bush signed it,” Gutiérrez continued. “But in 2008, George Bush signed another piece of legislation about human trafficking, right? It basically dealt with human trafficking, that now says, ‘Wait, unaccompanied minors must in 72 hours be released, right? To Health and Human Services — their Office of Refugee Resettlement, and be placed in the least and have a court case, so this notion of just deport them all — you cannot. If that’s what you want, then — I just find it astonishing that on the one hasn’t the Tea Party says the president of the United States acts like a dictator, acts like an emperor. And then on the other hand they say, ‘Just forget about the law, Mr. President, and just deport them all.’ But maybe they want the president to do this so that they can have some articles of impeachment. I’m not quite sure what they’re doing.”
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