Rep. Gutierrez to Rules Committee on Immigration: ‘The Republican Majority is Planting Its Flag Firmly on a Myth’

As House Prepares To Attack President Obama, Rep. Gutiérrez Discusses “Myth…That The United States Should, Would Or Could Deport 11 Million” Immigrants

Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)–December 3, 2014.  Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) testified before the House Rules Committee this evening as the Committee debated a bill to attack the lawful executive actions President Obama has announced in terms of immigration, deportation and enforcement priorities.  The so-called “Executive Amnesty Protection Act of 2014” is scheduled to come to the floor of the U.S. House as soon as Thursday, but Rep. Gutiérrez suggested the 113th Congress could use its last few hours in a more constructive manner.

“Look, if you [Republicans in the House] are serious about the rule of law, then we should have spent yesterday’s Judiciary [Committee] hearing marking-up an immigration reform bill and we should have spent today’s Rules Committee hearing determining which amendments would be in order,” Rep. Gutierrez said.  That is what is going to give us border security.  That is what is going to establish E-Verify in every workplace.

His remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow below.

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez represents the Fourth District of Illinois, is a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and is the Chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Testimony, before the Rules Committee, as prepared for delivery:

This is the second time in the last 3 or 4 months that I have testified before the Rules Committee because the subject of immigrants is being brought to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Not immigration reform, not expanding border security or making sure people who come to this country come with visas and not smugglers, not E-Verify or temporary worker visas, not making sure every undocumented immigrant is registered with the government.

No, what we are sending to the floor of the United States Congress is yet another symbolic and superficial bill supporting the fantasy that every single undocumented immigrant should be deported.

The Republican majority is planting its flag firmly on a myth. 

The myth is that the United States should, would or could deport 11 million people.  And that it would be a good idea for our economy, our security, and our sense of humanity as a leader among all the other civilized nations of the world.  Imagine the consequences of this fantasy…

First, let’s round up 11 million people — roughly a population the size of Georgia or Pennsylvania or Ohio — and let’s round up their children too.  The children who are U.S. citizens — that’s about 5 million American children — let’s put them in foster care or hope some relative will treat them well. 

Next, when hundreds of thousands of homes come on the market all at once, the US government would cope with massive bankruptcies and cries to bail out the U.S. farmers whose crops are rotting in the fields of this nation from coast to coast.

Then, let’s detain and house all of those people we arrest before they are deported and let’s just assume for the sake of argument that we have court cases for all 11 million.  That means our immigration court system does nothing else for probably decades. 

Sorry murderers and rapists, you have to wait your turn for deportation because we want to arbitrarily round up and kick out all the moms and dads who were working at the car wash and playing ball with their children, and now the courts are full, so you will just have to chill.

Oh and don’t forget we will have to hire and buy fuel for 55,000 airplanes, pack them with 200 immigrants each and fly them out.

Let’s just consider the impact that would have on the Tea Party and the Birthers who oppose everything the President is for. . . 

When the economy takes a severe hit because the government is removing roughly 5 percent of the American workforce – that’s 1 out of 20 working and consuming and taxpaying people in the U.S. economy – how is the Tea Party going to feel about a government bail out?

How much is the Republican majority willing to raise taxes to pay for deporting 11 million people? 

Yes, the Republican Party is betting the farm on the idea that the American people think deporting all 11 million people is not only realistic, but desirable.

And in this case, when I say betting the farm, I mean it quite literally – the entire American farm and agricultural industry and millions of farm workers, grocery stores and families at kitchen tables are going to be turned upside down because the Republican majority is suggesting that the status quo and doing nothing is somehow upholding the Rule of Law.

But when the Republicans insist that we cannot fix our immigration system and restore the rule of law legislatively the alternative they leave is chaos.

That is what we are left with when every effort to address the problems and the hardship that our broken immigration system causes for American citizens is rejected.  Even something as sensible as when the Department of Homeland Security says we will make the deportation of the parents of U.S. citizens our lowest priority if they pay for and pass a criminal background check at their own expense.

Look, if you are serious about the rule of law, then we should have spent yesterday’s Judiciary hearing marking-up an immigration reform bill and we should have spent today’s Rules Committee hearing determining which amendments would be in order.

That is what is going to give us border security. 

That is what is going to establish E-Verify in every workplace.

That is what is going to defend the American worker from the current system with two separate but unequal labor markets where only some of the American workforce is covered by American labor laws.

That is what is going to get millions of our neighbors and friends who have lived here for years to come forward and register with the government, give up their finger-prints, prove they are not a threat, and prove that they will support their families and pay their taxes.

That is the way forward and all the rest of this is incredibly wasteful theater that makes the American people say “What are those people in Washington doing because they sure are not taking action to help Americans and their families?”

I urge you to schedule the Rules Committee hearing on immigration reform — for real this time — and invite me back when you are serious.

Source: Gutierrez.house.gov