Gutierrez: Immigration Reform Not Happening This Year

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Illinois Democratic congressman Luis Gutierrez took to the House floor on Wednesday and pretty much sounded the death knell on immigration reform this year, giving Republicans a soccer "red card," and saying they had "failed America and failed themselves."

"You’re done. Leave the field. Too many flagrant offenses and unfair attacks and too little action while you run out the clock," he said. Gutierrez said a bill should have been in the works by the July 4th weekend for immigration legislation to pass this year. He then suggested the Obama administration take executive action since legislation would not be coming out of Congress.

His pessimistic comments reverberated quickly among immigration reformers since the Illinois Democrat has been one of the more optimistic House members on the prospects of a bill this year. Gutierrez has been working with Republican legislators like Florida congressman Mario Diaz-Balart to try and reach a bipartisan agreement like the Senate was able to do a year ago.

Immigration reform advocate Cristina Jimenez, of United We Dream, said in a statement that to have Rep. Gutierrez publicly acknowledge that Congress would not move legislation forward and to have him urge the Administration to use executive powers "carries weight with the immigrant community."

“While we’ve long suspected that House Republicans had no plans to deliver on reform legislation, the developments of this week make it official," stated Jimenez.

Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said in a statement, "It is Congress that is broken, and the President must now maximize use of his existing legal authority to protect immigrants and the national interest."

--Sandra Lilley