Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) issued a strong warning Tuesday to House Republicans who are opposing comprehensive immigration reform, assuring them that if they do not pass legislation addressing the issue this year, former President George W. Bush will serve as “the last Republican president in American history.”
“Latino voters are repelled, and the loud but small contingent of immigration opponents have backed the Republican Party into a corner that they don’t have the courage to break out of,” Gutierrez said during an impassioned House speech Tuesday. “So, Mr. Speaker, I give you George W. Bush, the man who will go down in history as the last Republican president in American history.”
Last week, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue joked that Republicans shouldn’t even bother to run a 2016 presidential candidate if they fail to implement immigration reform.
Gutierrez, a longtime advocate of immigration reform, echoed Donohue’s remarks Tuesday, pointing to the growing number of Hispanics in the U.S. as "a demographic reality that will make Republicans a footnote in history -- just like the Whigs and Know-Nothings.”
“But you still have time to change history. If you do nothing on immigration, I guess you can take comfort in knowing that from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush, you had a pretty good run: freeing the slaves, winning the Civil War, interstate highway system. Those all go in the highlight column,” Gutierrez, who was arrested during an immigration rally in front of the White House in 2011, said Tuesday. “And there have been a few lowlights as well. All our grandchildren will ever know of Republicans as a national party will be what they read in the history blogs. And they will look at 2014 as the year it all slipped away.”