Rep. Luis GutierrezLuis GutierrezDem boycotts of inauguration grow Puerto Rico's representative makes renewed push for statehood Silicon Valley ready to play defense on Trump MORE (D-Ill.) on Wednesday argued that there was still a chance of Congress passing immigration reform despite House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorRyan reelected Speaker in near-unanimous GOP vote Financial technology rules are set to change in the Trump era Trump allies warn: No compromise on immigration 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.
"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.