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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Gutierrez: Get Ready for Piecemeal

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House Democrat Luis Gutierrez, one of his party's leading voices pushing for immigration reform, told a Chicago Public Radio reporter today that the GOP. Gutierrez is the latest Democrat to suggest openness to the Republicans piecemeal approach (others including President Obama and Senator Dick Durbin). From Huffington Post:

"We are going to do them piecemeal, but in the end you're going to have a full menu," Gutierrez said on Chicago Public Radio's "Afternoon Shift." Gutierrez has said before that he's open to a piecemeal approach to immigration reform, as long as it eventually includes different measures affecting security, the so-called Dreamers and new workers.

Gutierrez acknowledged that Democrats need to change their strategy, given the current balance in Congress.

"Democrats in the House of Representatives have to stop negotiating from the point of view that they're in the majority," he said. "We're not."

Gutierrez also said that the piece of immigration legislation that is most likely to get passed will be a version of the Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for the Dreamers, people brought to the United States as children who also meet other requirements.

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  1. MKolken's Avatar
    As I have been saying, the only way we get reform through the House is a piecemeal approach. If the Democrats would have spent less time trying to make the GOP look bad, and more time accepting political reality we would already have reform by now.
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    Dont bet on any reform no matter what. McAuliffe win in VA may bring some in GOP to their senses...but the chance of reform at best is 50-50.
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I respectfully disagree with my fellow immigration reform advocates who take "piecemeal" at face value and expect it to lead to one or more House bills which could actually go to conference with the Senate and result in something that would deserve to be called "reform" - including relief from deportation or at least provisional legal status for 11 million people.

    My outlook on this may be overly cynical, but I think it is more accurate to regard "piecemeal" as a codeword rather than a process - translation: pretend to take up reform, while making sure that nothing actually gets passed.

    As long as the Tea Party continues its stranglehold over the House, that is probably all we can expect. For this reason, the November 5 victory for "moderate" Republicans - if there are any - in New Jersey and Alabama, together with Tea Party zealot Ken Cuccinelli's (unexpectedly narrow) defeat in Virginia might, hopefully, be the beginning of the end for the Tea Party.

    It is also a mistake to look at the Tea Party as basically a new, libertarian, small government organization. It is instead just the latest manifestation of right wing nativism and bigotry against minorities which began with the Know-Nothings in the 19th century and have continued under one name or another ever since, including the 1950's John Birch Society.

    The best hope for immigration reform is a Tea Party defeat in 2014 followed by a still Democratic Senate and more moderate GOP-controlled House (since a Democratic takeover is unlikely) in 2015.

    We are not going to get "piecemeal" or any other kind of reform from the likes of John Boehner, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, etc. We are only going to get reform RIP - Rest in Pieces.

    Roger Algase
  4. Jack2's Avatar
    There is an inverse cynical view which is that these piecemeal proponents really want a CIR bill (perhaps more for components other than mass legalization, e.g., more guest workers) but are worried about how to fool their base into thinking they don't. Piecemeal is viewed as a ploy to let an S. 744 type bill become law but without their fingerprints on it. It's funny that both sides suspect that they are not to be trusted at all but for different reasons.
  5. khachlamat's Avatar
    THanks for sharing!
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