Gutierrez: Democrats Who Vote for Budget Deal Are ‘Voting for the Deportation of Dreamers’

February 8, 2018

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.) said Thursday that a vote for the proposed congressional budget deal is a vote to deport illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents.

Gutierrez is one of a group of Democrats who remain staunchly opposed to a congressional budget deal that does not provide legal status for young illegal immigrants known as Dreamers. He warned that Democrats would lose their leverage if they went along with the budget proposal.

"Anyone that votes for this budget deal that comes from the Senate and the House, when it comes over, is voting to allow the deportation of Dreamers, because now there is no leverage and no way forward," he said, adding that Democrats who vote for the deal will have cooperated with Republicans.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked why the Democrats could not get a deal on so-called Dreamers, and Gutierrez admitted Democrats were not unified.

"Democrats like to say 'mañana'—tomorrow—when it comes to immigration," he said. "And Republicans say 'never.' They say 'never.'"

"I don't think the unity will be there," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez then said Democrats who vote for this budget proposal ought to prepare for when Republicans "come after" gay people and Muslims next.

"They don't understand or don't part from the premise, as I and many other Democrats will, that we're all in it together," he said. "Today we stand up for Dreamers because tomorrow we're going to stand up when there's a Muslim ban, when they come after our gay brothers and sisters, when they come after Planned Parenthood. They're going to pick us apart."

As Gutierrez spoke, both chambers of Congress had not passed the budget proposal, with a government shutdown looming at midnight.