Rep. Luis Gutierrez Slams White House for Immigration Delay - NBC Chicago
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Rep. Luis Gutierrez Slams White House for Immigration Delay

President Obama is "playing it safe" on the issue, says the Illinois congressman



    U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez warns that President Barack Obama's immigration indecision might have political consequences for state Democrats seeking re-election this November.

    Gutierrez, who serves Illinois' fourth congressional district, issued the warning on Sunday morning's edition of This Week on ABC, saying "it's clear that playing it safe is what is going on at the White House and among Democratic circles. And playing it safe means walking away from our values and our principles."

    The White House said Saturday that President Obama was delaying a decision on immigration reform until after the Nov. 4 midterms, a politically motivated action designed to stave off a Republican take-over of the Senate. The president had previously vowed to leverage his executive power to enact sweeping changes by summer's end (including a reduction in deportations). The presidential postponement has been widely denounced by Latino groups and immigration activists like Gutierrez.

    "They've looked at polling in four or five states where there aren't large Latino constituencies and said that's the way forward without thinking of the impact that that policy might have in Illinois, in California and Colorado. And so they've walked away," said the congressman.

    Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Lynn Sweet reports that the delay could possibly affect the re-election chances of Illinois Democrats such as congressmen Brad Schneider of the 10th district and Bill Foster of the 11th as well as embattled Gov. Pat Quinn, who's running a tight race against rising GOP star Bruce Rauner for which traditionally Democratic Latino constituents are a crucial vote.