Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said Tuesday that Americans would never elect another president from the GOP if the party fails to act on immigration reform.
Gutierrez, one of the most ardent supporters of an immigration overhaul, brought a poster to the House floor depicting Republican Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George W. Bush.
Gutierrez argued that if the growing Hispanic population continues to vote primarily for Democrats, the GOP would have difficulty winning future national elections. He quoted recent remarks by Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue that Republicans "shouldn't bother to run a candidate in 2016" if they don't move on immigration reform.
"If you do nothing on immigration, I guess you can take comfort in knowing that from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush, you had a pretty good run. Freeing the slaves, winning the Civil War, the interstate highway system. Those all go in the highlights column," Gutierrez said.
The Illinois Democrat argued that the Republican party should have an interest in pursuing an immigration overhaul, rather than following opponents, such as Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
"Latino voters are repelled, and the loud but small contingent of immigration opponents have backed the Republican Party into a corner that they don't have the courage to break out of," Gutierrez said.
"I suggest the Republican majority, they do it for Abraham. They do it for George. They do it for any little boy or any little girl in America who wants to grow up to be a Republican president. But most of all, do it for our country," Gutierrez concluded.