IMMIGRATION REFORM; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 25
(House of Representatives - February 11, 2014)

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From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                           IMMIGRATION REFORM

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Gutierrez) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GUTIERREZ. Mr. Speaker, on Sunday morning, I tweeted out a 
message to the 30,000 people who follow me on Twitter. The tweet said:

       The GOP doesn't determine when the fight for immigration 
     reform ends. We will continue to fight for a bill in 2014 
     because that is what is right, what is fair, and what is best 
     for the USA.

  I sent this because many in the pro-immigration reform community 
thought they heard Speaker John Boehner giving up on immigration reform 
in 2014. That is not what I heard, but many in the community and in the 
press heard it that way.
  I wanted to make it clear that the immigrant community and the huge 
movement behind immigration reform--business, clergy, and everyone 
else--are just not going away. We are not taking ``wait,'' ``maybe,'' 
and ``no'' for an answer.
  By now, every time Speaker Boehner says anything about immigration 
reform, the press and the pundits go crazy. Even if it isn't clear what 
exactly the Speaker said, a good percentage of the press runs out and 
writes obituary number 247 for immigration reform.
  What I heard the Speaker say last week was that getting immigration 
reform passed in the House would be hard.
  Tell me about it.
  I also heard the Speaker say at his news conference that the House 
``needs'' to get immigration reform done this year, and he is right.
  Then I heard the Speaker say that the GOP doesn't trust the President 
of the United States. Really? Despite 2 million deportations and the 
lowest rate of illegal immigration in recent decades, the House GOP 
doesn't believe President Barack Obama will enforce immigration laws.
  Well, I have been working on this for a while, and, first of all, you 
are right. It is hard. For more than a decade, I had to work on my own 
party to get them behind substantial immigration reform, but the 
Democrats are ready now--and ready to help you, Mr. Speaker, pass a 
bill. The movement will help supporters of immigration reform in the 
House GOP Conference work to convince their members that moving forward 
to actual legislation is not only the right thing to do from a justice 
perspective, from a law and order perspective, and from an economic 
perspective, but the right thing to do from a political perspective.
  Mr. Speaker, when you said the House needs to pass a bill, boy, are 
you right.
  Nobody believes the Republican Party can elect anyone for President 
unless you find some way to neutralize the damage you have done to 
yourselves with your deportation-only approach to immigration. The 
immigration issue doesn't just hurt you with Latino voters. It has hurt 
you with Asian and younger voters, too.
  There is simply no math that adds up to 270 electoral votes unless 
the Republican Party stops getting slaughtered by 30, 40, or 50 points 
among the largest-, fastest-growing groups of voters in this country. 
It gets only worse with each passing day, with another 2,000 Latino 
citizens turning 18 every day and becoming eligible to vote.
  Speaker Boehner knows this is the best chance his party has of 
getting the immigration issue off the table before 2016, and I believe 
he plans to come back to immigration reform. The cost to the GOP 
politically is just too high if the GOP-controlled House blocks 
legislation this year.
  You thought the Super Bowl was a blowout last month? Wait until 
November 2016 if immigration reform is still hanging out there undone. 
You can tell the babysitter you will be home by 10:30 on election 
night. The contest will be over early. It will be Democrats in the 
White House by a landslide.
  This notion, Mr. Speaker, that President Obama cannot be trusted to 
enforce immigration laws just doesn't make any sense to anyone who 
follows the issue. Every day, day after day, week after week, and year 
after year, people are being ``disappeared'' by our immigration 
enforcement machine. Another 1,100 today--and tomorrow.
  Where is the generosity of spirit in that? This lax, liberal, soft-
heartedness you seem to imagine, I wish you could tell that to the 
estimated 5,000 children currently in foster care because their parents 
are in detention or have already been deported. Tell them how soft 
Obama is.
  I am going out to suburban Washington this evening to talk with 
immigrants and advocates at Casa de Maryland. I don't expect I will 
hear very much praise for President Obama's enlightened approach to 
deportation and detention tonight.
  They are not waiting patiently for Speaker Boehner or anyone in the 
Republican Conference to make up their minds about whether or when to 
start legislating on this matter. I know they are not taking ``maybe'' 
or ``not now'' or ``no'' for an answer.
  Mr. Speaker, you are not going to be spared. Kids will keep showing 
up to interrupt your breakfast as long as their parents are facing 
deportation and their communities are being ripped apart.
  Mr. Speaker, you can't deport your way out of this. You can't ignore 
your way out of this. You can't blame Obama for your way out of this. 
You must act for the good of the country.

                          ____________________