July 13, 2014

Rep. Luis Gutierrez has been a consistent champion for immigration reform. He's passionate and he's great at cutting through all the nonsensical talking points Republicans have crafted about this crisis.

He appeared on Face the Nation right after Governor Rick Perry this morning to counter the ridiculous claims Republicans are making. By now, you know the talking points, but just for clarity, here they are along with Gutierrez' response.

Obama's executive order about DREAMers caused the crisis - Gutierrez: One of these things is not like the other. There is a clear difference between kids being brought here by their parents years ago, growing up in this country, being educated here, and the kids running from terrible situations now.

The border isn't secure - Gutierrez: Border security isn't the problem and we don't need the National Guard at the border. These kids are turning themselves into the border patrol. They're refugees, not crossing the border illegally. Further, the Obama administration deports twice the number of people crossing the border.

Demonizing the children - Gutierrez reminded Rick Perry and the rest of the Republicans that these are children, and the 2002 law, renewed in 2008 is being followed.

The one bone of contention I have with Schieffer and Gutierrez concerns their questions about whether the President should have gone to the border and seen the crisis firsthand. Gutierrez wishes he had so he could see the humanitarian crisis. Rick Perry wishes he had so he could see the hell his policies have rained down on Texas.

Here's my take. If President Obama had visited the border, what message would that have sent to the kids still in those countries? It seems to me it would have been seen as a welcoming gesture, a message that if you risk everything to get to the American border the President will greet you with open arms. Personally. Imagine the havoc Republicans could wreak with that, which is exactly why they're trying to use it as leverage.

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