New GOP Embrace of Comprehensive Immigration Reform is Overdue but Welcome News to Representative Gutierrez

Gutierrez: “I see it in every conversation I have with Republicans on the Hill”

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–March 19, 2013. The Growth and Opportunity Project, an advisory panel convened by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, released a set of policy and strategic recommendations to the Republican National Committee that include an apparently full-throated embrace of comprehensive immigration reform:

[A]mong the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.

(http://images.politico.com/global/2013/03/17/rnc_growth_opportunity_book_2013.html, p. 8)

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), a long-time champion of immigration reform who has frequently worked across party lines, welcomed the new direction of the GOP and said he is already seeing the new approach in practice.  He just completed a three-city tour of California over the weekend, holding packed, enthusiastic events to build support for immigration reform in San Diego, Salinas and San Francisco (See Facebook Note: Gutierrez Travels The County To Build Support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform). 

The following is a statement by Rep. Gutierrez, a Member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Chairman of the Task Force on Immigration of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:

“The politics on immigration have evolved so quickly since Election Day in the GOP that it makes your head spin.  They were committed to driving 11 million undocumented immigrants, mostly Latinos, out of the country through “self-deportation” and self-destructive Arizona-style anti-immigrant laws.  That was not only what their presidential candidate embraced, it was in the party platform. 

“Elections are powerful things.  Now the GOP sees that unless they stop talking about kicking millions of Latino immigrants and their families out of our country, they cannot effectively talk to Latinos about anything else.  It is good to have the GOP back at the table discussing how to resolve a tough policy problem, conscientiously, seriously, and not just thinking how to exploit this division at election time.  Right now, we need to forget about who is going to get credit and have both parties serve the people’s interest by getting immigration reform done.

“I see this change in every conversation I have with Republicans on the Hill.  I see it in the Immigration Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).  We are talking about how to legalize hard working immigrants who have lived here for years or decades and how to keep their families together.  We are no longer arguing with the opponents of legal immigration in the GOP Caucus who have driven the Republican position on immigration for decades and led them off an electoral and demographic cliff.

“There are a lot of reasons for optimism that Congress will pass immigration reform this year and the return of reasonable Republicans to the table is one of them.”

Source: gutierrez.house.gov