Rep. Gutierrez: Immigration reform is dead

One of the biggest proponents of immigration reform in Congress says the issue is dead and it's up to President Obama to implement changes using executive orders.

Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez wants Obama to unilaterally halt deportations and take other executive action since the GOP refuses to bring the bill to the floor of the House.


In a fiery floor speech Wednesday, the Illinois Democrat – the leading congressional advocate on the issue – declared the prospects for reform dead this year and said the only option left is for President Barack Obama to take unilateral action to stem deportations.

Using an analogy from the World Cup, Gutierrez said he had already given a “yellow card” to the House GOP as a warning that if they continued to drag their feet on immigration reform, Obama would move on deportation relief on his own.

Gutierrez had called on Republicans to produce immigration reform legislation before the Fourth of July recess, which begins next week. Other Democrats on Capitol Hill have pressured the GOP to move on immigration bills by August.

“I gave you the warning three months ago, and now I have no other choice,” he said. “You’re done. You’re done. Leave the field, too many flagrant offenses and unfair attacks. You’re out. Hit the showers. It’s the red card.”

“Your chance to play a role in how immigration and deportation policies are carried out this year are over,” he declared. “Having given ample time to craft legislation, you failed.”

The already-dim chances for immigration reform on Capitol Hill were largely darkened with the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his primary race earlier this month, when challenger Dave Brat hammered the powerful House Republican over his support of incremental reform measures.

And the current influx of unaccompanied minors through the southwestern U.S. border has further complicated the prospects, as Republicans point to Obama’s immigrant policies as a cause for the humanitarian crisis.

Anecdotal evidene abounds that the illegal alien children and their parents have come here as a result of President Obama hinting that deportations would stop and that minor children would be able to stay. What do you suppose the situation would be if the president ordered a halt to deportations? If it can get worse, it will.

Speaker Boehner keeps insisting that the House will take up immigration reform in August. There may be only a couple of dozen  Republicans who would vote for it, which leaves Boehner out on a limb, waiting for a challenger to his speakership to cut if off.

Any impetus to pass immigration reform has faded as a result of the current border crisis and Eric Cantor's defeat. It's time for Beohner to recognize what Gutierrez has already admitted - reform is dead in this term.