The president’s decision to delay executive action on immigration reform leaves an Illinois congressman disappointed. U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Chicago) says the decision has to do with politics, as Democrats try to win some tough U.S. Senate races with endangered incumbents in Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina. “The president yesterday said that it wasn’t about politics, but everybody in Washington, D.C. knows that this had everything to do with politics, and partisan politics was put ahead of good public policy,” he said at a news conference Monday in Chicago.
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Gutierrez wants a policy under which illegal immigrants who have been in the country for a certain length of time and who are otherwise law-abiding would not be deported. Gutierrez says the right policy will be announced eventually, but the delay hurts – there are 1,000 deportations a day – and he says decisions made in the name of politics are never ones to be proud of. Gutierrez says that delay might turn off Illinois voters who are immigrants themselves, or who have recent immigrants in their families, and this could hurt the re-election chances of U.S. Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield), Bill Foster (D-Naperville) and Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline).
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) supports the president’s decision and blames Republicans. “It starts with a Republican House of Representatives which refuses to call the bipartisan immigration reform bill,” Durbin said at a campaign event.