An outspoken House Democrat who favors passage of a comprehensive immigration bill called President Obama the "deporter in chief," after a major Hispanic group gave Obama that same name on Tuesday.
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) made the comment in floor remarks Tuesday, after pointing out that Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than other recent presidents. He also said Obama has done more to expand immigration enforcement and prosecuted more cases of illegal immigration than past presidents.
"It goes to the deporter in chief, Barack Obama," he said of the contest.
On Tuesday, the National Council of La Raza gave Obama the same label and called on him to stop deporting people. La Raza is the country's largest Hispanic civil rights group.
Gutierrez indicated he opposes the administration's stepped up efforts to deport illegal residents — at one point, he awarded Obama a "dubious star" for his efforts.
But Gutierrez was also making the larger point that Republicans have no basis for not trusting President Obama on whether he'd enforce the laws under a comprehensive immigration bill. Republicans have said in recent weeks that they don't trust Obama to enforce any new enforcement requirements that might be attached to a bigger bill that creates a pathway to citizenship for illegal residents.
Gutierrez blamed "Obama derangement syndrome" for the inability of Republicans to see Obama as a trustworthy steward of the nation's immigration laws.
"Because Obama derangement syndrome is so fact-resistant, I'm not optimistic I've convinced anybody this morning," he said.