Gutierrez: Pelosi 8-Hour Speech 'Nice Gesture,' But Meaningless If Dems Cave on DACA

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Gutierrez: Pelosi 8-Hour Speech 'Nice Gesture,' But Meaningless If Dems Cave on DACA

Democrats talk a great game, the Illinois congressman added, "but when it counts and when it matters, they usually put their party before their principles."

Flanked by his wife Soraida, U.S. Representative Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) announces he will retire from congress at the end of his current term during a press conference on November 28, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) eight-hour marathon speech in defense of Dreamers on the House floor Wednesday garnered much applause and favorable media coverage, but Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) argued that Pelosi's impassioned remarks will amount to nothing more than "a nice gesture" if she fails to push House Democrats to vote down the newly-reached bipartisan spending deal.

"They talk about how they're for immigrants, but when it counts and when it matters, they usually put their party before their principles."
—Rep. Luis Gutierrez

"If Democrats join with Republicans on this deal, what you will have is a collusion with Donald Trump to deport Dreamers. And I hope that does not happen," Gutierrez said during an interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd on Wednesday. "They talk a great game, they talk about how they're for immigrants, but when it counts and when it matters, they usually put their party before their principles in terms of our immigrant community."

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Gutierrez's comments came as Pelosi declared during her speech that while she plans to vote against the bipartisan spending deal reached on Wednesday, she will not pressure her colleagues to join her in opposition.

"Members will do what they'll do," Pelosi said. A Senate vote on the two-year budget deal is expected as early as Thursday afternoon, and a vote in the House could soon follow.

As Common Dreams reported, protests erupted in the Senate building after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) celebrated their bipartisan budget achievement, which would massively hike military spending but do nothing for Dreamers—many of whom have already lost legal protections and are at risk of deportation.

In a tweet on Wednesday, immigrant rights activist Erika Andiola noted that Pelosi "has leverage right now to demand more than an empty promise" and called on all Democrats to reject any agreement that does not include the DREAM Act.

"Anything different is just political posturing that will help no one," Andiola wrote. "Dreamers are getting deported for God's sake!"

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