WASHINGTON--Congress is dealing with immigration issues in the coming days...Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is one of three Hispanic congressional leaders meeting with President Obama on Thursday to try to "re-energize" the push for immigration reform.
The folks over at HuffHill (an afternoon newsletter produced by the Huffington Post) caught a Chicago mayoral campaign angle that I (gasp) overlooked....
"Luis Gutierrez, Nydia Velazquez and Bob Menendez will meet with the president tomorrow at 2:30 to talk immigration reform. Gutierrez says he'll push Obama to use his muscle to get the DREAM Act through Congress. If Rahm Emanuel shows up, two potential Chicago mayoral candidates will be in the room together. Gutierrez, who said today that a run is "tempting," said he'd have a hard time supporting Emanuel if he doesn't, given his history of slowing down immigration reform. He still remembers, Gutierrez said, when Emanuel, as head of the DCCC, was telling Democrats to vote for a draconian Republican immigration bill in 2006. But if he helps make the DREAM Act a reality, all could be forgiven. "I would be very indebted and grateful to Rahm," he said, adding that so would the Latino community."
below, from Gutierrez........
Rep. Gutierrez To Meet With President Thursday
on Immigration Reform Strategy
Sen. Menendez, Chairwoman Velázquez and Gutierrez To Discuss DREAM Act,
Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and Deportations
(Washington, DC) - Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) will be joined by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. They plan to discuss immigration reform strategy and the plan the three Members of Congress laid out today at a Capital Hill rally. The plan includes a vote in the coming weeks in the Senate on the DREAM Act immigration bill, the introduction of a Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill, a call for a halt to the deportation of non-criminal immigrants, and changes to federal policy related to state and local police enforcement of civil immigration law. (A release from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on today's announcement is here)
"We are taking steps this week to reenergize and refocus the immigration debate and our meeting with the President is part of that effort," said Rep. Gutierrez. "The nation needs immigration reform as soon as possible and Members of Congress are locking arms with the White House to make sure all of our advocacy efforts are pointed in the same direction."
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced Tuesday that there would be a clean up or down vote on the DREAM Act to in the Senate as part of the Defense Department Reauthorization Bill expected on the Senate floor next week. Sen. Menendez announced earlier today that he intends to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate as soon as possible and Reps. Velázquez and Gutierrez joined Sen. Menendez in announcing these concrete steps towards passage of immigration reform this year.
"I'm looking forward to a productive meeting with the President tomorrow and to his speech at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's dinner tonight because we all share the goal of a fair, legal, and orderly immigration system and keeping families together," Rep. Gutierrez said. "Senators Reid and Menendez have stepped up to the plate and Rep. Velázquez and the Hispanic Caucus support them 100 percent and we need the President on the team with us to win a key victory for the American people."
Senator Menendez, Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is a key leader on immigration and the only Hispanic Member of the U.S. Senate. Rep. Velázquez is the Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).
Rep. Gutierrez chairs the Immigration Task Force of the CHC and is the principal author of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act (CIR-ASAP/H.R. 4321), a comprehensive immigration reform bill with 103 co-sponsors that is supported by the CHC.
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