Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came back to his home state accompanied by Illinois Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, and held a rally to celebrate the Senate passage of the sweeping immigration reform bill, and to symbolically hand the job over to the House.
“We have a bipartisan bill that’s not perfect, but it is damn good,” said Reid. At a rally with Culinary Union Local 226 in Las Vegas, Reid urged the House to follow the Senate’s lead and pass an immigration reform bill.
“Speaker (John) Boehner cannot stand in the way of what the American people want and are going to demand,” said Reid. ”Democrats support it; Republicans support it; Independents support it. All people support it except for Republicans in Congress,” he said.
Congressman Gutierrez, a longtime immigration reform and DREAMer advocate and one of 7 bipartisan legislators in the House working a version of an immigration bill, ”If Republicans allow us to work in a bipartisan manner in the House, the votes are there for immigration reform to become law, just as the votes were there in the Senate,” said Gutierrez.
At the same time, the Illinois Democrat criticized the 4 “piecemeal” bills passed in the House Judiciary Committee, some which have been harshly criticized. One of them, introduced by Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King, called for resuming deportations of DREAMers and rescinding deferred action.
As of now, House Speaker John Boehner has said he will not sponsor any immigration bill without the majority of House Republicans — some of whom are strongly opposed to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Speaking at the rally in Las Vegas, Gutierrez said, “the Republican leadership and the Speaker of the House should let the will of the people carry the day and not just the anti-immigration wing of the Republican party.”