Anti-deportation rally aims to put pressure on lawmakers

President Barack Obama supports forcing a vote by House Democrats on a comprehensive immigration bill. It’s an effort doomed to fail but designed to increase pressure on House Republicans to act.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez marched with Chicago activists and immigrants Wednesday to put their own pressure on lawmakers.

You may remember Elvira Arellano. She took refuge in a Chicago church for a year so she would not be deported. Eventually she was removed to her native Mexico. Last week, she tried to cross the border again and was given humanitarian parole, saying she was being threatened. Elvira has six months to prepare her case.

“In many ways, it may represent a new policy on the part of the Obama administration, that parents who come who are in danger and are seeking asylum, that they’ll be allowed to come into the country while their case proceeds. We think that’s a good policy,” said Rev. Walter Coleman with Adalberto Church.

Gutierrez, who joined in the rally and march that began at Federal Plaza, says he sees this latest development as positive.

“There’s a change in the conversation and the dialogue,” he said.

Congressman Gutierrez says if the Republican majority in House does not compromise on immigration reform, President Obama is prepared to sign an executive order allowing millions of undocumented workers to stay in this country.

“If the Republican party doesn’t want the President of the United States to use his pen to bring a little more fairness, a little more justice, and look, a little more peace to immigrant families,” he said.

Gutierrez has been fighting for immigration reform since before Obama took office in 2009. He sees more progress now than ever.

“If somebody opens the door and let’s you in, you’ve got to stay in the room until the conversation is concluded,” he said.

 

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