Yesterday, President Obama called on Representatives in the House to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Yet, many folks despair that, in the wake of the government shutdown, it will be difficult if not impossible to pass a sensible and compassionate immigration reform bill.
Well, Salon's Josh Eidelson sat down yesterday with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) to talk about working with Congress, and the President, to pass immigration reform. Despite the sizable obstacles that stand in the way, Gutierrez holds out hope that by working together, we can find a pathway to citizenship for immigrants and their families. Here's what he had to say:
I disagree with [the idea that there's no chance of passing comprehensive immigration reform] because even during the very contentious and oftentimes nasty debate over the budget and the debt ceiling, as contentious as that got, the conversations the dialogue continued between Democrats and Republicans trying to find a play... [S]o I believe that that’s going to eventually bear fruit, and that we’re going to be able to move forward.
Gutierrez also said that, if Congress fails to pass comprehensive immigration reform, President Obama must take bold action to end the 1,100 deportations that occur daily:
I think that those quarters of the immigration movement that are calling on the president to [enact a "ceasefire" on deportations] are absolutely right. There are devastating effects if the Congress of the United States cannot enact comprehensive immigration reform – then the President of the United States has the responsibility to act to defend those immigrants which he says he wants to provide safety and justice for.
You can read the entire interview with Rep. Gutierrez at Salon.
If you haven't yet, please join Interfaith Worker Justice in calling on your Representative to fix our broken immigration system NOW!