Gutierrez Calls for D.C. Protest to Pressure Obama on Immigration

By Jerry Kammer and Jerry Kammer on February 2, 2010

Rep. Luis Gutierrez is calling for a massive demonstration next month in Washington to demand that President Obama push Congress to move on immigration reform.

In a Monday visit to Los Angeles, where he made an appearance on a nationwide Spanish-language radio program and met with local leaders and AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo, Gutierrez expressed frustration that President Obama gave scant attention to immigration last week in his State of the Union Address.

"But we don't have the right to give up," Gutierrez said, according to an article in today's La Opinion newspaper. "We have to tell those who seek our vote, as the president did, that whether you're Democrat or Republican, if you stand in the way of justice being done for immigrants, you cannot count on our support."

Gutierrez is calling for immigration activists to assemble in Washington on Sunday, March 21. "We can't just wait and hope that the president is going to solve the problem," he told Univision reporter Jaime Garcia. "We have to organize.

Gutierrez added, "I think the president is being poorly advised."

The Illinois Democrat, who last year introduced a sweeping immigration reform bill (HR 4321), said that if Congress hasn't begun to move on immigration by April 15, "We aren't going to do it this year."