House Dem: I'm not sure Bernie Sanders likes immigrants

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) says he doesn’t know whether Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersWar over the estate tax returns The 'Overton Window' and how Trump won the nomination with it Clinton critiques Sanders fans in leaked audio MORE (I-Vt.) likes immigrants because he doesn’t hear him advocating on their behalf.

In an interview that will air Tuesday with Larry King on ORA TV’s PolitiKING, Gutiérrez, who is backing Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonGingrich: 'No excuse ever' for 3 a.m. tweeting War over the estate tax returns Onlooker repeatedly yells ‘Bill Clinton is a rapist’ live on Fox News MORE for president, first failed to remember Sanders’s name before blasting him for not doing enough to push immigration reform.

ADVERTISEMENT
“We’ve got the socialist, uh I can’t remember his name. Bernie Sanders,” Gutierrez said. “I don’t know if he likes immigrants because he doesn’t seem to talk about immigrants. But sooner or later, he’ll tell us. I hope he likes immigrants. I haven’t heard him say anything. He’s been kind of quiet and silent.

"So I hope that when he sees this program, he sees that there’s a lot of people waiting to hear from him.”

In the interview, Gutiérrez was seeking to draw attention to the efforts of Republicans to roll back President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. A lawsuit challenging Obama’s actions is winding through the courts.

Sanders supports Obama’s actions that shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation and was critical of the president for delaying the actions ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. He voted in favor of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013 that included a pathway to citizenship for people in the country illegally.

Sanders’s early campaign has focused almost exclusively on economic issues. On Thursday, he plans to unveil legislation that would guarantee paid vacation time for workers as part of a “family values” initiative that also includes guaranteed medical and maternity leave.

Clinton in recent weeks has tacked to the left on immigration reform, embracing a pathway to citizenship, changing her position to support driver’s licenses, and pushing to allow certain illegal immigrants to serve in the U.S. military.

Sanders has emerged as the top liberal challenger to Clinton, although he’s a distant second, trailing her by nearly 50 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.