Gutierrez nudges Obama to ease up on deportations

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For months now, Rep. Luis Gutierrez and immigration rights groups have been setting the stage for a mid-summer push to convince President Obama to ease up on the deportation of those who entered the country illegally.

If the Republican-controlled House of Representatives didn’t act on comprehensive immigration reform legislation by July 4, the argument went, it would be up to Obama to use his executive powers to fill the void. Gutierrez even said Obama was ready to go along, the only question being how far he would go.

That was then. This is now.

In the meantime, thousands and thousands of children from Central America began showing up unexpectedly at the Mexican border seeking entry to the U.S. — and in the process dramatically altered the political dynamic for those already here by re-fueling anti-immigrant sentiments.

Unfortunately for those children, some Americans look at those big brown eyes and see nothing but future Democratic voters.

On Tuesday, Gutierrez and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights stuck to their earlier game plan, demanding Obama take action now to slow the deportations.

“We’re here to say: Do it today,” the Chicago Democrat said, while urging his allies to approach this more in a coaxing manner than as angry protesters, considering that Obama is the “one friend we have.”

But Obama didn’t address their concerns Tuesday.

He was too busy dealing with the Central American refugee crisis, asking Congress for $3.7 billion that would be used to care for the children and speed up the legal process required to return them home, though not fast enough to suit his critics.

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