WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 08: U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) speaks during a news conference on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as DREAM Act, on Capitol Hill December 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Senate and the House will vote today on the DREAM Act, which would grant young illegal immigrants citizenship if they attend college or join the military. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)2010 Getty Images
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) on Wednesday warned his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives that if they don't hold a vote on immigration reform before the July 4 recess President Barack Obama will take matters into his own hands.
"There are concrete ways within existing law to help keep families together and spare U.S. citizens from losing their wives and their husbands and their children to deportation," Gutierrez said in a speech on the House floor.
"I talk to Republicans and they know the truth: If Republicans do not work with Democrats and bring an immigration bill to the floor, they are giving up a chance to stand for justice, a sense of peace, and fairness for immigrants until after the 2016 presidential elections," the Illinois lawmaker said.
"That means Republicans will have to head into the 2016 presidential elections as the party that blocked immigration reform that would finally have brought justice to immigrant communities," he added.
Obama "did not run for office so that he could deport 2 million people and put thousands of American children in foster care," Gutierrez said. "Do you think he will sit by and do nothing just because you are doing nothing?"
House Republicans are continuing to avoid submitting the text of an immigration reform bill to a vote, despite the fact that the Senate approved bipartisan legislation on the matter last June.
"You have 34 legislative days left until July 4 and you better make use of them. The American people are waiting," Gutierrez told his GOP colleagues.
Many analysts feel that if there is no vote on immigration reform before July, the chances of achieving it will vanish with the gearing up for the mid-term elections in November and the subsequent primaries in advance of the 2016 presidential election. EFE