Luis Gutierrez: After WH Asked for ‘Forbearance,’ We Demanded Interest & Broader Exec Amnesty
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said after the White House asked him and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for “forbearance” for missing President Barack Obama’s self-imposed “by the end of summer” deadline on executive amnesty, he demanded interest in the form of a “bigger” and “broader” executive amnesty later this year.
In a “Changing Lanes” interview with RealClearPolitics, Gutierrez said he and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus recently met with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Chief Legal Council Neil Eggleston after Obama decided to delay his executive amnesty. Gutierrez said that the essence of the White House’s message was, “we want forbearance,” which, to Gutierrez, means, “get it done better.”
The White House was reportedly considering granting executive amnesty and work permits to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus had asked the White House to give temporary amnesty to nearly everyone who would have been put on a path to citizenship in the Senate’s comprehensive amnesty bill. Gutierrez said that White House “should rethink” some executive actions that the “weren’t quite sure” about and “reexamine everything you’re going to do over the coming weeks” and “make it bigger and braoder and better” because “you have more time to look at it.” Pro-amnesty activist groups like La Raza have suggested Obama should grant executive amnesty to eight million illegal immigrants.
Gutierrez said that he told the White House that Obama’s missed deadline on executive amnesty was comparable to someone missing a bank payment or messing up with their wife and daughter. Gutierrez said that he told the White House that if screws up with his wife or daughter, then he has to “get ’em something better than what I was going to get ’em, whatever it was, [because] I screwed up… I gotta do better. I gotta make up for it.”
He said if he is “late with a payment to the bank and there’s forbearance on the part of the bank… obviously the bank charges interest. Oh, we won’t take your house, but there’s a penalty.”
“I said that because I really think that it is appropriate that when you make a promise and you don’t deliver when you say you were going to deliver… in politics, people really understand that you’re going to do even better, you’re going to make up for it, that you have a sense of responsibility for the forbearance,” he said.
Gutierrez emphasized that he “didn’t wake up on June 30” and demand executive amnesty by the “end of summer” because Obama did on “his own volition that day, motivated by the needs of our immigrant community.”
Obama admitted to Chuck Todd in a “Meet The Press” interview two weeks ago that the politics of illegal immigration changed this summer after nearly 67,000 illegal immigrant juveniles, nearly 90% of who are teenagers, were detained at the border. The mainstream media were forced to cover the crisis after Breitbart Texas published leaked photos of illegal immigrants being warehoused at detention centers, which shifted the debate and made illegal immigration one of the top concerns of Americans.
But Gutierrez has always put amnesty over border security. This week on Fox News, Gutierrez actually said he would be “derelict in my duty to protect America” if he supported a bill that would secure the border first before granting illegal immigrants amnesty.
At this year’s La Raza conference, Gutierrez said that Obama assured the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Obama enacted by executive fiat in 2012 and caused the drastic increase in the number of illegal immigrant juveniles who started to come to America, was merely a “down payment” to the community for more amnesty in the future. Gutierrez said that Obama had promised to stop the “deportation of our people.”
After Obama delayed his executive amnesty as Senate Democrats were losing ground in their reelection races as Obama’s approval ratings on illegal immigration hit record lows and more Americans started opposing executive amnesty (63% in a national poll opposed work permits for illegal immigrants), Gutierrez and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus demanded that Obama enact his executive amnesty by Thanksgiving. But they have since backtracked and are now insisting Obama, who has promised to enact some type of executive amnesty before the end of the year, to act before the end of the holiday season, perhaps taking into account that the likely Louisiana Senate runoff in December may determine which party controls the Senate.
A New York Times/CBS News poll this week, which was consistent with two other national polls, found that a plurality of Americans (39%) would be less likely to vote for candidates who support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.