Gutierrez Not Automatically Backing Obama in 2012

Support, he says, depends on president's actions on immigration reform

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez speaks in favor of national immigration reform at a rally on April 25, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Don't count on Rep. Luis Gutierrez automatically throwing his support behind President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

    The Illinois Democrat said Saturday that Obama needs to step up efforts to reform the nation's immigration laws to win him over.

    Gutierrez, who has been on a multi-city tour to raise awareness of the effects of deportations on immigrants and their families, made the comments Saturday at a church in Pilsen.

    "There are four million American citizen children, and those four million American citizen children shouldn’t have a federal government whose main goal is the destruction of their family," said Gutierrez.

    Gutierrez was a major supporter of the DREAM Act -- a federal proposal that gives illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship through college enrollment and military service.  The legislation was blocked last year.

    He also wants the government to offer options to illegal immigrant parents whose children are U.S. citizens.