Tag: U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez

Obama Official: Immigration Reform Will Be Introduced Once Votes to Pass It Are Assured

The Obama administration will push for immigration reform in Congress once Democrats are certain they have enough votes to pass it, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday in Washington.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at the Democratic National Convention 2008 - Photo: Mike Disharoon/Flickr

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. (Photo: Mike Disharoon/Flickr)

According to the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión, Salazar attended an event organized by the National Association of Hispanic Publications, where he said the reform bill “will be introduced when there is certainty as to the availability of the necessary votes for it to be approved,” reporter Antonieta Cádiz wrote.

With immigration becoming an increasingly controversial issue and the Democrats’ health care reform plan about to reach the Senate floor for a contentious debate, the statement would seem to place some doubt on when (or even whether) the administration-backed bill being prepared by Sen. Charles Schumer will actually be introduced.

At the same time, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D- Illinios), who’s authoring a bill of his own to be introduced in the House, warned Tuesday that there will be a short window for immigration reform to be debated –and eventually passed– after the approval of the health care bill and before the start of campaigning for the 2010 Congressional election.


Sooner Than Expected: Latino Congressman to Introduce Immigration Bill Ahead of White House

Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez will introduce his own immigration reform bill. (Photo: Rep. Gutierrez website)

Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez will introduce his own immigration reform bill. (Photo: Rep. Gutierrez website)

While President Obama’s immigration proposal seems months away from any serious consideration, a Latino congressman from the president’s hometown has announced he will draft an alternative bill by October 13 and introduce it in the House “soon thereafter.”

Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D.-Ill.) announced his decision last week, which he said came at the urging of immigrant advocates.

Obama has charged Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York with drafting the government’s bill. Schumer had said the proposal would have been ready by Labor Day but, according to La Opinión, the health care debate derailed those plans.

“Today, at (a) rally in Washington DC, advocacy groups from across the country called upon Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) to present a progressive, comprehensive immigration bill. Rep. Gutierrez agreed that he will outline the fundamental principles of such legislation by October 13 and introduce a comprehensive bill soon thereafter.”

[ Gutierrez press release ]


Immigration Reform Advocates Stepping Up Pressure On Obama: Cardinal Asks For End To Raids

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Cardinal George - Photo: AP

Cardinal George - Photo: AP

It was not the first time a Catholic leader has called for changes to the nation’s immigration policies. But Saturday’s appeal by Cardinal Francis George, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was notable in that it was aimed directly at President Barack Obama and his promise of change.

“I stand with other faith leaders and all of you gathered here today and with every immigrant family in this nation to call on our government to end immigration raids and the separation of families,” George said at a Chicago church where a prayer forum was held to call for renewed debate on immigration reform. “Such reform would be a clear sign this administration is truly about change.”

The cardinal’s call came after a week in which, for the first time in office, President Obama spoke at length about immigration before a mainstream audience; and after he told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus he will address immigration reform soon, with some (unspecified) action to come in the next couple of months.


Chicago Congressman Takes His Push For Immigration Reform On The Road To 14 Cities


Gutierrez at a pro-immigration vigil last week. (Photo: CNSNews.com)

While most news these days focuses on the economic crisis and its hoped-for solution, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D.-Ill.) wants to remind the Obama Administration of the need for immigration reform.

The congressman announced he is going on a five-week, 14-city tour “to document the harm caused to citizens across our nation in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform,” according to a press release.

From Providence, R.I., to Albuquerque, N.M., from El Paso, Texas, to Tampa, Fla. to Philadelphia, Gutierrez plans to hold rallies “for thousands of U.S. citizens whose families have been or risk being torn apart by our broken immigration system,” and he will gather petitions for the passage of a comprehensive reform bill.

Speaking at a recent prayer vigil on Capitol Hill, Gutierrez vowed to deliver thousands of those petitions to President Barack Obama, CNSNews.com reported. He wants to remind the president of his campaign promise of a reform that includes “a path to citizenship” for the undocumented immigrants already in the U.S.