Gutierrez Blasts Senate Deal, Says Dems 'Not Willing to Go to the Mat' for Illegal Immigrants

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Posted: Jan 22, 2018 5:30 PM
Gutierrez Blasts Senate Deal, Says Dems 'Not Willing to Go to the Mat' for Illegal Immigrants

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) reacted to the news Monday that Senate Democrats made a deal to end their brief government shutdown over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Gutiérrez claimed that Democrats are not willing to fight on the issue the same way they would over same-sex marriage or the environment.

“I do not see how a vague promise from the Senate Majority Leader about a vague policy to be voted on in the future helps the Dreamers or maximizes leverage the Democrats and American people have over the Republicans right now,” he said in a statement.

“If the Republicans said we are ending same-sex marriage, but we promise Democrats a vote later; or we approve of oil drilling in every national park, but you’ll have a vote later – do you think the Democrats would say yes?” He asked, concluding, “this shows me that when it comes to immigrants, Latinos and their families, Democrats are still not willing to go to the mat to allow people in my community to live in our country legally.

He called the deal something that “simply kicks the can down the road with no assurance that we will protect Dreamers from deportation or fight Republican attempts to curtail or eliminate legal immigration.” 

The Senate reached a deal to end the three-day shutdown, agreeing to keep the government fund until February 8th following a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to let an immigration bill reach the floor for a vote next month.

Many progressive groups were angered by the deal as well, including Credo and United We Dream.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi didn’t see “that there’s any reason — I’m speaking personally and hearing from my members — to support what was put forth,” at a press conference just before Schumer agreed to the deal.

Rep. Gutiérrez went so far as to claim on Sunday that Trump wants to end legal immigration to the U.S.

"They want to end legal immigration to the United States,” Gutiérrez told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on “This Week." 

“They say, 'Let's build a wall to keep us safe,'" he said. "They say, 'Let's build a wall so that our workers don't have to compete with illegals that come across the —' but then they end legal immigration, they say, 'the lottery system, let's end it.' That's legal immigration to the United States." 

Recent polling showed that 58 percent of Americans opposed a government shutdown over DACA.