Photo: Luis Gutiérrez
Monday, thanks in large part to Illinois Representative Luis Gutiérrez (D), Congress is expected to discuss the DREAM Act.
Over the Thanksgiving recess, Gutiérrez traveled to a number of states, asking for the support of the act on behalf of tens of thousands of undocumented youth that are forced to forego higher education because they’re status means they have to pay out-of-state tuition, and they simply cannot afford it.
The 57-year-old Illinois representative said in an interview last week, “They didn’t decide, when they were six, seven or eight years old, to come here. Should we hold children responsible for the actions of their parents?” He added, “They’re all American except for that little paper. Culturally, linguistically, socially, American is who they are. We’ve educated them, so let’s let them join the military, let them go to college. Let them give this country a lot in return what we’ve given them.”
Gutiérrez’s critics claim he is little more than an overly empathetic left-winger who is calling on Congress to reward those who out-right break federal laws. They say that any kind of pardon for ANY “illegal” immigrants is only going to increase undocumented immigration and send a message to the world that the U.S.’s immigration laws are meaningless.
Chosen over a run for Chicago mayor, Gutiérrez’s fight against injustice has not wavered in his attempt to get the DREAM Act passed, but despite his endless cross-country rallying, he says he’s not holding his breathe for its passage during the current lame-duck session.
“I’m not worried, [but not passing it] will just drive people further underground.”