By Laura Barron-Lopez - 09/07/14 10:42 AM EDT
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), one of the most outspoken lawmakers on immigration reform, said he plans to meet with President Obama this week to "go back to the drawing board."
"It’s clear that playing it safe is what is going on at the White House … walking away from our values and our principles," Gutiérrez said on ABC's "This Week."
"Playing it safe might win an election … but it almost never leads to fairness, to justice and to good public policy that you can be proud of," he added
The White House announced Saturday that the president would hold off on taking action on immigration before the midterm elections, sending a shockwave through the Hispanic community.
"I've called the president, I've called the White House, and I expect we will be meeting this week so we can continue," Gutiérrez said.
"So I am going to go back to the drawing board," he added.
Gutiérrez has pressed the administration relentlessly in recent months, urging fellow Democrats to "get out of the way," so Obama could "lean in" on immigration reform and take executive action.
But in his interview on Sunday, he didn't appear as if he planned to hold a grudge against the president for the delay.
"In President Barack Obama's last five years, he has supported more people than any other president in the history of the United States, so I think that is the reality," Gutiérrez said.
That doesn't mean there won't be anger, he was quick to note, pointing out deportations that will occur due to the president's delay.
"While we wait until November, because that is the president's decision, there is going to be another 16,000 people deported, so there is pain and suffering in the community; there is a lot of anguish and anger," he added.
— This report was updated at 11:27 a.m.