Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) chastised both Republicans and his own Democratic Party in an interview with Fusion host Jorge Ramos on Monday for not living up to repeated vows to move forward on immigration reform.
“Shame on all of us,” Gutierrez said. “The Democrats had a majority in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. We had the presidency and we had the Senate. And the president made a promise. We didn’t do anything. Shame on Republicans for following in that tradition of doing nothing at this particular point.”
Gutierrez did offer praise for at least one Republican, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balard (R-FL), saying the two of them would continue working toward a bipartisan approach. Despite a heavily-anticipated Senate bill on the issue passing earlier this year, House Republicans have insisted that they would not take it up for a vote this year, with Tea Party lawmaker Rep. Steve King (R-IA) going so far as to say that doing so would be “divisive” and suggesting it could imperil House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) position.
“My colleague and I have to go to the [House] Republican majority and Republican leadership and say, ‘There is time this year,’” Gutierrez told Ramos. “We can have movement on comprehensive immigration reform. There is time, Jorge. What there is not time [for] is to continue to do nothing.”
Gutierrez also called for President Barack Obama to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to cover young undocumented immigrants who were the focus of the DREAM Act, calling it a “moral challenge.”
“He can’t say on the one hand that he supports the DREAMers, and then on the other hand deport their parents,” Gutierrez told Ramos.
Watch the interview, as aired on Monday, below.