Gutierrez comes out in support of Obama immigration policy

August 30, 2011

Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez is coming out in support of President Barack Obama over a new deportation policy. Under the plan, immigration officials would have more discretion on who to prosecute for immigration violations.

Two weeks ago, President Obama announced the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would be following guidelines that would prioritize one deportation case over another. The new process will focus on deporting illegal immigrants convicted of violent crimes or that pose significant threat to public safety, over other cases. College students, veterans, long-term residents, pregnant mothers, etc. will be classified as low-priority, meaning their deportation case could be dismissed.

Gutierrez has been critical of Obama's immigration policies in the past, but says the new rule is a step in the right direction.

"All I can tell you is this, that he's made the right decision. Is it everything we asked for? No. Is there more that we believe he can do? Absolutely," he said. "This is the Barack Obama that we've been waiting for. And you want to know something, maybe it took him 30 months to show up, but he has shown up, and we're with him."

The Democratic congressman says he will continue to work with Mr. Obama towards comprehensive immigration reform. The Obama administration says it will review roughly 300,000 deportation cases in light of the new policy. Many Republicans have spoken out against the plan, calling it back door amnesty.