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Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., discusses how the momentum of immigration reform seems to have stalled and his strategy to get things back on track.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez speaks on why he got arrested

Illinois Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez said he will not give up on comprehensive immigration reform, even if it means getting arrested.

“We are not going away, the movement is stronger and more determined than ever,” Gutierrez said on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki.”

Gutierrez said the momentum for immigration reform was in the streets and in events such as the “National Day for Dignity and Respect,” where thousands of immigration supporters around the country gathered to advocate for immigration reform. Then on Oct. 8 supporters culminated the events in a rally in Washington D.C., where Gutierrez and seven other members of the House of Representatives were arrested.

RELATED: Photos: National Day for Dignity and Respect puts immigration in the spotlight

“The immigrant community isn’t giving up,” said Gutierrez, noting that everyday about 2,000 Latinos turn 18, making them eligible to vote.

He also added that he knew of about 40 to 50 Republicans who were ready to vote “yes” on immigration reform. The only problem: getting Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to allow a vote.

“What we have to do is get Speaker Boehner to allow a vote on that, and how do we get that?” Gutierrez said, “I think by making sure that we martial our forces and make sure that the Republican Party understand that you can’t walk away from this one.”

Gutierrez said that discussions on immigration reform were in a “dark” time because of the distraction brought by Syria, the debt ceiling and the budget.

“But the sun will come out,” he said.

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