As the partial government shutdown continues, the Democrat party leaders still refuse to work with President Donald Trump over border security funding. But some Democrats would like to see their leaders take a seat at the negotiating table, if only in order to “get” a few of the things that they want in exchange for a few things that Trump wants … even a border wall.
Outgoing Democrat Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez said in a recent exit interview with NBC News that his fellow Democrats should just go ahead and pay whatever “ransom” Republicans may demand if that was needed to achieve immigration reform.
Pay the “ransom”
With regard to comprehensive immigration reform measures, Gutierrez said, “For my friends on the left, remember, there’s going to be a ransom that is going to be required.”
“Pay it,” the retiring congressman urged. “It’s the right thing to do, because we’re never going to be able to overcome the 60 votes in the Senate.”
“There are people on the right that are going to want certain things,” Gutierrez added. “I don’t know if we have to give them a wall … but we’re gonna have to sit down and negotiate.”
It must be noted that Gutierrez’s remarks to NBC came just prior to the start of the shutdown, but his comments stand as nothing has fundamentally changed and it was clear that negotiations would be necessary before the shutdown even began.
Advocate for immigration reform
The 65-year-old congressman from Chicago has been a vociferous advocate for immigration reform since first being elected to Congress in 1994, and his tireless efforts to liberalize immigration laws have even put him on the wrong side of his fellow Democrats from time to time.
In fact, Gutierrez even got himself arrested outside the White House while protesting former President Barack Obama’s deportation policies as part of his unceasing push for immigration reform.
“I gave Obama hell and I’m not regretting it,” recalled Gutierrez.
“I believe that what I did was the right thing to do, but I gave him hell.”
Gutierrez has most certainly given “hell” to President Trump and his administration as well, and will undoubtedly continue to do so in some capacity outside of Congress for the foreseeable future, as he vowed to NBC, “I’m not leaving the body politic.”
Will Democrats listen to the advice of their outgoing colleague and “pay the ransom” — as Gutierrez put it — by negotiating and compromising on an immigration-related deal with Trump and Republicans? We’ll see.