Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said he and other liberal House Democrats are prepared to support a government shutdown if House members fail to pass the Dream Act and protect hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants from being deported.
“We have a Democratic caucus where I know the vast majority of the members of the Democratic caucus are ready to say ‘If there is no pathway forward, not only for the 800,000 and for visas for all of you, but also for the rest of immigrant youth through the Dream Act, then there is no government for anyone,’” Gutierrez said Friday during a press conference with the United We Dream advocacy group.
“We will shut it down or let the Republicans keep it open with their own votes.”
Hours after Gutierrez spoke, President Trump signed a $15.25 billion disaster relief bill that also includes a three-month extension of both federal government funding and borrowing authority, a move that ends the threat of a partial government shutdown at the end of the month. By the time the stop-gap measure runs out in mid-December, Gutierrez wants an immigration legislative solution that would be a holiday gift to everyone.
“The coming Christmas has to be a Christmas of joy for all of us or none of us,” Gutierrez said.
“All the power and the leverage is now with us in the Democratic caucus because we know that there is no raising of the debt ceiling, there is no opening of the government unless Democrats cooperate and are coopted in the process,” he added.