Via CNS, am I wrong in describing him that way in the headline? More than three years ago, he told Newsweek that he has only one loyalty and that’s to the immigrant community. No problem for the GOP: Not only was Gutierrez a welcome member of the House’s bipartisan “Gang of Eight” on immigration, he’s been quietly and not so quietly collaborating with Paul Ryan on immigration reform for months. Now here he is, just days after Boehner warned that Obama’s power grabs had left the GOP unwilling to trust him to enforce new border security measures, urging O to grab more power by extending his executive amnesty for DREAMers to other illegals. What does this guy have to say or do for ostensibly pro-enforcement Republicans to conclude they can’t deal with him? It’s one thing not to challenge Obama’s executive overreach, it’s another to huddle with members of the other team who are calling for more of it. (See also Sheila Jackson-Lee.) The fact that they continue to ignore stuff like this is almost enough to make me think Boehner, Ryan, and the rest of the gang are closer to Gutierrez’s positions on this issue than they’re letting on.
But that would be silly, wouldn’t it.
He spends most of his time here unfurling the old story about jobs Americans won’t do — agricultural work is hard and dirty, most citizens consider it beneath their dignity and too low-paying to pursue, therefore we need to import a class of low-skilled labor to do it for us. Play that story out for another generation, after amnesty passes and many of those workers become citizens, and tell me how it ends. The entire point of this negotiation from the border-hawk perspective is that this must be the last amnesty. People who are already here are going to end up being legalized one way or another, but that’s a price worth paying in exchange for security measures that’ll ensure we’re not facing this problem again in 25 years. Does it sound like Gutierrez shares that vision? If he doesn’t, why do Republicans like Ryan keep talking to him?