Dem: 'Immigration reform is not dead'

Rep. Luis GutierrezLuis GutierrezHispanic lawmakers face painful decision on Puerto Rico Frustration with White House builds in Hispanic caucus Puerto Rico debt relief faces serious challenges in Senate MORE (D-Ill.) on Wednesday argued that there was still a chance of Congress passing immigration reform despite House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorJohn Feehery: GOP: Listen to Reince The Trail 2016: Dems struggle for unity Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court rejects GOP redistricting challenge MORE's (R-Va.) stunning primary loss.

Gutierrez, one of the most vocal proponents of immigration reform, did not specifically mention Cantor by name. But he alluded to the seismic primary result Tuesday night.

"Some things do not change after a primary. Even a primary result that no one, including the winning candidate, had predicted," Gutierrez said on the House floor.

"Another thing has not changed. The Republican party and the Republican leadership has a difficult choice: They can choose to address the immigration issue head-on and get it resolved, and give the Republican nominee in 2016 a fighting chance in his or her run for the White House. Or they go back to the bunker, sharpen their anti-Obama knives and never get to the White House in the next generation, possibly two," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez argued that Cantor's strategy to appear as an anti-immigration hardliner didn't work.

"Blocking sensible immigration reform and sending out mailers decrying - quote - 'amnesty' at the last minute does not seem to have much traction with southern voters in conservative districts," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez warned that this month is the last chance for the House to consider an immigration measure before the midterm elections. The Illinois Democrat further said that no action from Congress meant that President Obama would have to turn to executive orders.

"It will be left up to the president to rescue the country from the worst aspects of our dysfunctional immigration system," Gutierrez said.


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