In an interview published at Salon on Friday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said President Obama should take unilateral action and issue a rule to stop the deportation of all illegal immigrants in the United States, The Hill reported.
"There are devastating effects if the Congress of the United States cannot enact comprehensive immigration reform – then the president of the United States has the responsibility to act to defend those immigrants which he says he wants to provide safety and justice for," he told Salon.
"I think that those who call on the president of the United States to re-evaluate his actions on the dreamers and expand it — I think that’s something the president of the United States should definitely look at, and begin to evaluate how he brings that about," he said when asked if Obama should have called for a "ceasefire" on deportations as some groups have demanded. "I think he should think about that. I think that is something the president of the United States should definitely look at."
"And I think that those quarters of the immigration movement that are calling on the president to do that are absolutely right," he added.
This is not the first time Gutierrez has called on Obama to act unilaterally, bypassing Congress to act on the issue of illegal immigration.
In July 2011, he demanded Obama take executive action to stop the deportation of so-called "dreamers," young immigrants brought to the country illegally by their parents.
"Take the executive action today," he screamed. "Don't wait for the Senate, don't wait for the House, don't wait for the Republicans and the Democrats to get together."
Last year, the administration took unilateral action, bypassing Congress in a move that affected some 800,000 illegal immigrants.
In September, however, Obama told Telemundo that advocates of amnesty for illegal immigrants should not expect him to act unilaterally if Congress doesn't act. Doing so, he said, would mean "essentially … ignoring the law" and would be "very difficult to defend legally."
"So that's not an option," he added. "And I do get a little worried that, you know, advocates of immigration reform start losing heart and immediately thinking, 'Well, yeah, somehow there's an out here, if Congress doesn't act, we'll just have the president sign something, and that'll take care of it, and we won't have to worry about it.'"
Instead of taking even more unilateral action, Obama has opted to pressure House Republicans to pass a measure similar to the "Gang of Eight" Senate bill that many conservatives said would destroy the country.
“This is not just an idea whose time has come; this is an idea whose time has been around for years now,” Obama said. “It's good for our economy. It’s good for our national security. It's good for our people, and we should do it this year.”
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