Rep. Gutierrez Undeterred On Immigration Reform Despite Tea Party Victory
(CBS) — A key primary victory for the Tea Party doesn’t seem to be discouraging Congressman Luis Gutierrez as he presses the case for immigration legislation in Congress, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez isn’t slowing his efforts to win passage of immigration reform on Capitol Hill despite continual resistance from the Republican side of the aisle.
“This nation built by and sustained by 400 years of immigration needs a coherent system and we need politicians brave enough to craft one,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez took to the floor after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated by an even more conservative Tea Party challenger, Dave Brat, who ran an anti-immigration campaign.
The congressman suggests that is a bigger problem for the Republicans than the advocates.
“Immigration is the single most important issue to address for the Republican Party’s ability to be competitive at the national level after this fall and is nowhere on the schedule before this fall,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez says reformers will look to the White House and that President Obama can save millions of undocumented immigrants by executive action alone.
“This is only going to make them less eager to compromise because there’s going to be a fear of retribution from the right,” said former Obama advisor David Axelrod.
Tea Party leaders, like Illinois’ Steve Tucker, cheered Cantor’s defeat and hopes it sent a message.
“Cantor was a big leader in this situation, which is why he was taken out,” said Tucker.
Tucker and tea party supporters say they have different priorities.
“All over this country there are people suffering in poverty, American citizens,” said Tucker. “We want them taken care of long before we have illegal aliens coming over here.”