Gutierrez Warns GOP Obama Will Take Action on Deportations

Image: Luis Gutierrez
Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez has warned GOP House members to move forward on immigration refom legislation or face action by the president on deportations. Alex Brandon / ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez says Republicans can get something done on immigration reform by the July 4 congressional break or "they can watch the president and Democrats do what they have to do and align themselves with the immigrant communities."

Gutierrez, D-Ill., said in a call with reporters Friday he continues to work with GOP members weekly and still believes there are members of the caucus working to move forward on immigration reform, "but we know the clock is running out."

"Come July this year, the president will pick up the pen in his hand and be ready to sign (immigraiton reform) legislation which is what we want as our ultimate goal and if there isn't, he can begin to sign those prosecutorial discretion memorandums and decrees that will allow millions upon millions" of people to remain in the U.S., Gutierrez said. "It's one or the other. I see it coming."

His comments came the day before groups plan to rally and march in Washington, D.C. and more activities around the country in dozens of cities and communities to pressure President Barack Obama to take executive action on deportations.

The Senate approved a comprehensive immigration reform bill last June. House Republicans to break up the issue into several bills, four approved thus far by committees, but movement on the issue stalled when House Speaker John Boehner said his members did not trust Obama's law enforcement skills enough to continue.

Obama has directed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to review enforcement policies.

Gutierrez urged all members of Congress to be at the events happening this weekend regarding deportation. "We have to join the grassroots movement," he said.