WASHINGTON — Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is quietly working the political background with two key Republicans, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Paul Ryan, to forge bipartisan immigration reform legislation.
While Congress is focused with fiscal cliff negotiations and gun control debate, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is already taking the lead on immigration refom, by constructing a bipartisan network to enact comprehensive immigration reform in early 2013. Even while Congress is focused on an agreement to resolve the “fiscal cliff” Gutierrez is taking an aggressive tactic of establishing alliance with republican Florida senator Marco Rubio and Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's vice-presidential running mate in November’s election.
According to the Huffington post, Gutierrez met on Thursday with Senator Rubio, in his Senate office and on Dec. 12, Gutierrez strategized with Ryan at his House office. “What we did was just kind of catch up,” Gutierrez told Huffington post. They wanted “explore opportunities to work together.”
Gutierrez chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Immigration Task Force established by the United Association for Labor Education. Over the past few years Gutierrez has established himself as a zealous advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.
During the recent election Gutierrez campaigned aggressively for President Barack Obama in swing states, but now is complaining the president isn’t actively promoting immigration reform talks in Congress.
In 2011 Gutierrez went on the immigration trail, with a 20-city tour aimed at at maintaining pressure on President Obama and Congress to resolve the problems associated with the mounting number of deportations and congress’ and more specifically Obama for his dismal failure in carrying out promises enact immigration reform. Gutierrez threatened Obama, the he would have trouble with the Hispanic vote in 2012 if he does not deliver on promises for an immigration overhaul
Following the Republican’s dismal election result in securing Latino votes, Republicans attempted to pass a bill that would grant foreigners with science and technical degrees from American universities visas while cutting another visa program that benefits poorer, mostly African immigrants was derailed by the democrats in the House. Although House Republicans touted the bill as the first step in immigration reform, Democrats were upset at the bill’s elimination of the Diversity Visa Program, a green card lottery that awards visas to immigrants from underrepresented countries of origin. During the House debate Gutierrez called the bill racist.
However not much could stop the growing momentum for immigration reform in 2013. Even Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who led efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation in 2006, along with other bipartisan lawmakers, have begun discussions, and the immigration issue is expected to be the hot political topic of 2013.