Gutiérrez blasts Dems for suggesting Obama delay immigration action
© Greg Nash

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), one of the staunchest advocates of immigration reform, on Thursday snapped at members of his own party, accusing them of bad politics for urging President Obama to delay executive action.

"Republicans and even a few unhelpful Democrats have been saying the president should not take executive action on immigration and should not act yet — as if his intention to use his executive power under existing law is a surprise," Gutiérrez said on the House floor.

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Gutiérrez singled out former Obama administration adviser David Axelrod, who suggested on Twitter last week that Obama should agree to "shelve" the executive order in exchange for a vote on immigration in the House.

"David Axelrod, safe in the confines of the University of Chicago, has no sense of urgency because none of his family members or neighbors are facing deportation," Gutiérrez said.

As for Republicans such as Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) who have said Obama's executive action would ruin any chances of enacting immigration reform, Gutiérrez argued such statements were mere excuses for inaction. Boehner said last week that there will be "no chance for immigration reform moving in this Congress" if Obama acts on his own.

"To put it another way, it's a little late for the mayor of Chernobyl to say he's worried about someone poisoning the well," Gutiérrez said.

The Illinois Democrat said that House Republicans have had more than a year to act on the Senate-passed immigration reform bill and argued that blaming Obama is just an excuse.

"The U.S. Congress can still debate, vote and pass an immigration law if it wants to," Gutiérrez said. "If you don't like it, then do something. There is nothing in your way but yourself."