An Illinois congressman says the president would be wise to act soon on immigration. President Obama says he’ll announce some sort of executive action to deal with illegal immigrants before the end of summer. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) says some Democrats – he wouldn’t name names – want the president to wait until after the election, but Gutierrez says the time to act is now.
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“It is better that the president make the decision now, clearly before the American public in a transparent manner before the election, and then let – in our democratic system – people know what that public policy is, before they go to election,” he said in a conference call with reporters. Gutierrez says he doesn’t know what the president will do, but he wants a policy under which illegal immigrants can register with the government and avoid deportation if they have no criminal history.
Legislation on immigration has stalled in Congress; the president has some latitude to establish priorities within the executive branch and has promised to announce new policies. Gutierrez says whatever is within the president’s executive authority will be short of what Congress could do by statute.