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Immigration Reform Advocates Hope for Administration Action

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Rep. Luis Gutierrez and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus emphasized a desire for help on immigration reform from the Obama administration in a meeting Tuesday.

“I will keep fighting alongside many of you to make the DREAM Act the law of the land,” he added, referring to a top legislative priority for immigration advocates.

Sharry charged that Obama has not yet been bold enough on the issue to rally the Hispanic electorate.

“From my point of view, if he wanted to be political and turn out the Latino vote, he would do something bold and welcome the overreaction of the Republicans,” Sharry said, suggesting that Obama pursue the goals of the DREAM Act through the administration.

But, he added, “they probably fear loss of swing voters.”

The DREAM Act would creates a path to citizenship for students and members of the military. The bill passed in the House last year under the Democratic majority, but it fell five votes short in the Senate.

The December vote in the Senate was considered a last-ditch effort for the legislation, which does not have wide support among Republicans and would not pass the GOP-controlled House.

“Our first priority must be ending the violence at the border — we really can’t deal with other issues until it is secure,” Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), told Roll Call on Tuesday.

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