Update: I’ll update ongoing blog coverage of the announcement below the fold.
Yesterday Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) spoke at the National Citizenship Day celebration in Washington, DC, in front of Members of Congress and hundreds of community leaders, who urged him to introduce real immigration reform legislation, real soon. To an eager crowd, Rep. Gutierrez announced that he would introduce such comprehensive immigration reform legislation this Fall, and in a press statement late yesterday, said:
I am overwhelmed by the support of immigrant, faith-based and community-based organizations in urging me to introduce comprehensive immigration legislation. We simply cannot wait any longer for a bill that keeps our families together, protects our workers and allows a pathway to legalization for those who have earned it. Saying immigration is a priority for this Administration or this Congress is not the same as seeing tangible action, and the longer we wait, the more every single piece of legislation we debate will be obstructed by our failure to pass comprehensive reform.
Rep. Gutierrez has been playing a major role in moving reform forward and has been standing strong for rational policy in the face of an increasingly-ugly Republican strategy to use immigration as a wedge to sour the health care debate — a play which has largely caught Democratic Senators and the Administration flat-footed.
During the last year, Rep. Gutierrez has led a series of listening tours and major interfaith community events under the banner of the “Familias Unidas” tour. It was at one of the Tour’s stops that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi argued passionately:
“Our future is about our children.”
No matter if those families arrived two days ago or centuries ago, Pelosi said “that opportunity, that determination, that hope has made American more American.”
She said, “Taking parents from their children … that’s un-American.”