A champion of the DREAM Act in the House contended on MSNBC last night that President Obama’s order on young illegal immigrants is just doing what Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) forthcoming bill would have done.
“What the president’s action is is a reflection of the will of the nation, of both House of Representatives and the Senate. And he has freed 800,000 people, his promise, and the promise that I made, along with Senator McCain, and Kennedy and Congressman Flake who is now running for the Senate in the state of Arizona,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.).
“I guess if I said I wanted to increase the minimum wage by a buck, and I couldn’t get it through the Congress, and the president did it, you’d think I would say thank you, Mr. President, for accomplishing that public policy,” he added.
Gutierrez had recently held talks with Rubio, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas) on a DREAM Act alternative. Rubio’s alternative legislation was expected by the end of summer.
“All the president has done is do through executive action exactly what Marco Rubio’s legislation would have done: give them a work visa which is renewable. Is it permanent? Absolutely, but this is a solution to a problem,” Gutierrez said.
The congressman said Obama addressing the “civil rights issue” will help him with Latino voters come fall.
“Wait for two months down the road when tens of thousands of people make lines, young people, smart people, Americans, when people start talking to them and seeing the people in the lines, and you see them getting their work permits and their work documents, wait until that,” Gutierrez said.