Photo: Luis Guiterrez
Comprehensive immigration reform is not coming any time soon, says Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). But that doesn’t mean President Barack Obama cannot use his discretionary power to end deportations of young people, he says.
Gutierrez called for the president to issue such an order last night at a rally in Chicago organized by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and other community and immigrant rights groups in Chicago. Long known as a champion for immigrants’ rights, Gutierrez argued that while legislative movement on immigration reform is unlikely now, given the current composition of Congress, it is possible for President Obama to issue an executive order ending the deportations of young people who would qualify for the DREAM Act.
Campus Progress caught up with Rep. Gutierrez after his speech on Thursday, asking about the role of young people in the fight for immigration reform:
Gutierrez also explained his call for the president to issue an executive order ending deportations of DREAMers:
Despite Congress’s hostility to progressive reform, there has been some movement in Washington around deportations and general immigration policy lately. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) chaired a Senate hearing on the DREAM Act Wednesday, bringing administration officials and a DREAMer to testify on the necessity of legalization for undocumented youth.
With federal legislation stalled, there are fights for state-level DREAM Acts in states like Illinois and Maryland. It’s no surprise that some like Gutierrez say that the only option nationally for undocumented youth is a presidential order.