How much do we love Luis Gutierrez? A lot. Brilliance.
Pick out the immigrant, people. Time to play! (h/t to @Synbad)
How much do we love Luis Gutierrez? A lot. Brilliance.
Pick out the immigrant, people. Time to play! (h/t to @Synbad)
At NALEO, Mitt Romney's speech perfectly summarized what he has to offer Latinos: nothing. No amount of evasive rhetoric and vague pleasantries will hide the basic fact that Mitt Romney won't stand up for the Dream Act, supports Arizona's discriminatory, anti-immigrant laws and believes immigrants should "self-deport." His views on Latinos and immigration are wrong, extreme and would divide our nation. With President Obama's leadership last week for immigrants, the contrast between Mitt Romney and the President has never been clearer.
The President and his sensible shift in policy to prioritize the deportation of criminals over DREAM Act youth has put Romney and the Republicans in a vise-grip. The President called their bluff. Romney can either stand with the anti-immigrant hawks or he can stand with the American people, including the Latino community, but trying to both will fall flat, like today.
What I saw was a Republican presidential candidate that clearly will not break with the hardest core positions held by some in his anti-immigration base, which then prevents him from moving towards the sensible middle on immigration.
It is a model for the problem Romney and the Republicans have on so many other issues. They are scared of their strongest supporters, which makes it difficult to imagine the Republicans will succeed with other more centrist voters.
On immigration, Romney will try to reconcile the gulf between the Republican base and the rest of the country — and especially Latinos — by being vague and talking in generalities. He avoids saying anything concrete on immigration to prevent upsetting the majority of the American people on the one hand or causing the anti-immigration wing of his party to explode on the other.
So Romney is mum on whether he would deport 800,000 DREAMers and their families by repealing the President's policy. And Romney is mum on what he would do with their families and the rest of the 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Romney talks about elements of comprehensive immigration reform, like legal immigration reform and an employment verification system, but will not articulate how to accomplish those reforms without also legalizing some of those already here. He knows that the "self-deportation" fantasy of tens of millions of people leaving the U.S. is not credible, so he would be better off saying nothing, especially when addressing a Latino audience.
Is the shift in the immigration debate starting to happen between Democrats and Republicans?
Both Univision News and Puerto Rico's El Nuevo Día are reporting that a meeting between Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic leaders received praise by Democratic Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (IL), a vocal critic of recent Republican immigration policies as well as the policies of President Obama's administration.
The meeting, according to both outlets, was called by Rubio and included Rep. Gutiérrez, Rep. Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), and Rep. Charles González (D-TX). This is what Gutiérrez had to say to Univision News:
“It was a great meeting. Look, I am going to meet with anyone independent of their political party or what perceived or real political benefit my association [provides] as long as it does one thing: stop the deportations,” Gutiérrez told Univision News in an interview Wednesday evening.
The congressman, who’s known as a champion for immigration reform, said the three members who met with Rubio aren’t yet willing to announce their support for the plan since the final language has not yet been drafted, although they did discuss some details.
“He said it and we agreed with him; today was not a day for us to come together because there is no proposal to agree on. It was simply a conversation opening dialogue,” said Gutiérrez.
Rubio has begun to promote an alternative version of The DREAM Act, which would begin to address the citizenship status of undocumented youth who came to this country with their parents, but are not American citizens. Rubio's plan is in sharp contrast to what the GOP front-runner Mitt Romney has been promoting for months, which follows a more extreme view of immigration enforcement. Recently Romney was open to Rubio's plan, although he has yet to truly distance himself from "informal adviser" Kris Kobach, the architect of Arizona's SB 1070 immigrant law. Rubio is still being mentioned as a possible running mate for Romney.
Univision News provided some additional background about the history of The DREAM Act, which has overwhelming support with US Latino voters:
Rubio’s proposal is styled after the current version of the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who are seeking a higher education or want to enlist in the military. The proposal, which is widely popular with Latinos and non-Latinos alike, passed the House in 2010 but failed to clear a 60-vote hurdle in the Senate to break a filibuster.
The DREAM Act has been stalled in Congress since then under near-universal Republican opposition, including from Rubio, who describes it as an “amnesty” bill that could lead to “chain migration.” The presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said said he would veto the current version, though he has said recently he is open to Rubio’s plan. Rubio says that under his proposal, certain undocumented minors would receive legal status, but not a special pathway to citizenship.
That has been a main point of contention of several immigration-reform advocates and Democrats, who have described it as a half measure, an indication that it’s far from certain Democrats will endorse it. Indeed, earlier this month, Gutierrez labeled the plan the “Stolen Dreams Act.”
But he pledged to hold his fire until Rubio comes out with more details regarding the plan. “I also have concerns. I don’t want to speak to the details of a bill that he hasn’t fully elaborated. He gave us some good indications about different components of the bill, but those components could change,” he said. “Let’s give him a chance. He asked me to give him a chance, and I’m going to wait.”
As for other reaction to Rubio's plan, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) was quoted in a Washington Post blog that Rubio's plan would have trouble being passed in Congress:
Asked by a reporter whether he thought the House could pass an immigration measure this year that focused on more than just border security, Boehner said: “There’s always hope.”
The speaker said he has spoken to Rubio about his plan. “I found it of interest, but the problem with this issue is that we’re operating in a very hostile political environment. To deal with a very difficult issue like this, I think it would be difficult at best.”
Boehner also added the following:
"Where’s the president’s immigration plan? Where does the president stand on this issue? Instead of campaigning all the time, maybe he ought to come back to Washington and go back to work,” Boehner said.
The Post's blog quoted President Obama's comments to Telemundo earlier this month about the Rubio plan:
“This notion that somehow Republicans want to have it both ways, they want to vote against these laws and appeal to anti-immigrant sentiment . . . and then they come and say, ‘But we really care about these kids and we want to do something about it’ — that looks like hypocrisy to me,” Obama said.
Give it up to El Galiito Rebelde.
Wondering if GOP candidate Newt Gingrich might want to retract his claim that President Obama is the country's most successful "food stamp president."
This week, on the floor of Congress, Illinois Congressman Luis "El Gallito Rebelde" Gutiérrez present his case against Gingrich's claim with…. actual facts.
The latest Republican immigration political ploy is to force young people who are long-term residents of the U.S. — many of whom have U.S. citizen brothers or sisters — to serve in the military to be eligible for citizenship (see: "Rivera introduces a military-only version of DREAM Act")
I have a different military service proposal: for Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum to be eligible to serve as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, they should have to serve in the military first. If Republicans demand military service as a litmus test of who is an American, I'm sure Gingrich, Romney and Santorum will insist on being the first to sign up.
The military is an honorable profession and many undocumented youth, like other young people raised in the U.S., would like to serve. But making military service a requirement for those who were raised here does not make sense because not everyone desires to serve or is qualified to do so. Furthermore, risking one's life should not be the only route to receive legal status — status that after all, merely recognizes what is already the reality: that these are American children in all but the paperwork.
The goal of any immigrant legalization should be to get as many people into the system and on the books as possible and to combine legalization, deportation, enforcement, and a modern legal immigration system to reduce the population of those living in the U.S. illegally and prevent the growth of that population moving forward. The GOP proposal does not do that.
It is doubly ironic that that the proposal comes from a Congressman from the Cuban-American community because there are no conditions on the amnesty that we grant to unauthorized immigrants from Cuba if they reach our soil, a policy I strongly support. When and if people ever suggest that Cubans serve in the U.S. military as a condition of legal status, I hope Rep. David Rivera and other Cuban American Members of Congress will join me in opposing that.
It is a deeply cynical ploy to trot out this legislation at this moment. The current leadership of the Republican Party in Congress is opposed to legalizing anyone under any circumstances, no matter how gruesome or attenuated the process. This is the flavor of the week to troll for votes in Florida (and Nevada and other upcoming states) where the harsh anti-immigration rhetoric of the GOP standard bearers in Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire is now a severe liability for the candidates and the Party.
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez Opening Statement as Prepared for Delivery from November 17, 2011
Photo © USATODAY
As you know, a group of nine Members of Congress is traveling to Birmingham, Alabama for a series of events on Monday. We will hold an Ad Hoc hearing at 3 p.m. in the chambers of the Birmingham City Council to hear from residents.
While some of the details are still coming together, we will have a range of people offer their testimony: local elected leaders and law-enforcement, families, educators, farmers, and small business owners and the like. We want a range of people who fit into categories including those who were the intended targets of Alabama's law, but we also want to hear from and those who have proven to be targets, perhaps unintentionally, as the law has begun to be implemented.
After the hearing we will meet with leaders of the immigrant advocacy and civil rights community in Birmingham and across the state at a private meeting at the Civil Rights Institute. Then we will walk across the street to the historic 16th Street Baptist Church — the church where four little girls were killed by an assassin's bomb — and at 7 p.m. there will be a huge rally that marks the kick off of the "One Alabama" statewide campaign to repeal the law. I was in Alabama in October and I came back to Washington and said to my colleagues, "you have got to go and see for yourself."
In other states we have seen anti-immigration bills pass, but in Alabama it has triggered something unique. The fear and chaos in a small, not very well established Latino and immigrant community has run deeper. The feeling of danger and despair is palpable, perhaps owing to Alabama's history of dogs and water cannons and bombings and worse. But that same history also gave me a great deal of hope.
All across the state I met people at rallies, at the NAACP state convention, at the Spanish language radio station, and I got a sense that the history of fighting for justice and fighting for basic rights is still alive in Alabama. Indeed, a lot of what we know about social movements, about social change and fighting for justice, we learned from the people of Alabama less than a generation ago.
We are seeing what happens when Congress is prevented from passing immigration reform for a decade or two decades. We see the reaction on the ground to an immigration system that is a quarter century out of date. Ironically, the Republican Party in Alabama that pushed this law through is the same Republican Party that has actively blocked immigration reform in Washington. And those few Republicans with whom I and Senator Kennedy and others worked with across the aisle have all drifted away from the negotiating table.
In particular, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, in his role on the Judiciary Committee, has played a substantial role in obstructing immigration reform along with a handful of Southern Republican Senators. In order to get control of immigration, we need to strengthen legal immigration and make sure enforcement is both firm and fair. In order to get control over immigration we have to get immigrants who live and work here into the system and on-the-books because we simply will not deport of drive out 10 million people who have deep roots, family, property, and lives here.
But Republicans, often led by Senator Sessions of Alabama, have prevented us from moving from the current chaos and blackmarket to a modern, efficient and legal immigration system because they think immigration is a good political football. Perhaps more so than anyone going on this trip, I have been critical of the President because of the one million people he has deported, but I am pleased that the Justice Department is fighting against unconstitutional laws in Alabama, Arizona, South Carolina and elsewhere. We simply cannot have 50 separate immigration laws and the Constitution is clear about that.
We will hold President Obama and Secretary Napolitano accountable for sticking to the federal policies they laid out that put a priority on deporting criminals so we can get bad people out of our communities. That means standing up to and not cooperating with the state policies that create broad roundups based on appearance or make it a crime to work or take your children to the library.
Anti-immigration laws at the state and local level come with tremendous costs… — in terms of the slowed economy, businesses that fail and millions of tax dollars paid to lawyers to defend against lawsuits. — in political terms, these laws have changed the way America thinks about Arizona and Alabama and whether they are modern states or backward-looking ones. — and at the local level — from family to family, business to business, and town to town, the divisiveness of playing politics with such an important issue carries a huge cost to the very fabric of a community.
There is a very high moral cost. I am going to Alabama to stand with the good, decent people of Alabama to fight back and defend what I think is right and just.
Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, an Illinois Democrat, is leading a congressional delegation on a November 21 visit to Alabama, the latest state of the Union to have imposed harsh and draconian immigration laws, with the summer passage of state law HB 56.
According to Gutiérrez's office, Gutiérrez will be joined by the following members of Congress: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Terri A. Sewell of Alabama, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Charlie Gonzalez of Texas, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Secretary of the Congressional Black Caucus Yvette D. Clarke of New York; Rep. Al Green of Texas; Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Democrat Zoe Lofgren of California; Rep. Joe Baca of California, Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, and Rep. Grace Napolitano of California.
A preliminary schedule of the November 21 Alabama visit was released by Gutiérrez's office:
ALABAMA CONGRESSIONAL VISIT – NOV. 21
Preliminary Schedule for November 21, 2011, all events are in Birmingham and all times local (CT):
Press Conference for Members of the Congressional Delegation
Location: Birmingham City Council Chambers - Birmingham City Hall, 710 20th Street North
Ad Hoc Hearing: The impact of HB56 on families, businesses, agriculture, law enforcement and civil society.
Location: Birmingham City Council Chambers
Members of the Congressional Delegation will participate in the launch of the "One Family One Alabama Campaign to Repeal HB56"
Hosted by the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ)
Location: Historic 16th Street Baptist Church (1530 Sixth Ave. North)
Yes, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, just like Kasey Kasem, the Rebels once in a while with do a VIDEO DEDICATION. Now that we have anointed you as EL GALLITO REBELDE, you need a song.
How about a little PE in DA HOUSE?
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