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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time
on this issue.

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you, Ed. Thank you.

SCHULTZ: What -- is the president doing the right thing? Is this the
right move? I don`t care if it`s a political move because it`s going to
help people, and that`s what this is all about, and it`s forwarding the
conversation of the country.
What do you make of the president`s move?

GUTIERREZ: Look, I mean, when I hear Romney say that we haven`t done
anything, what about December 2010? The House of Representatives passed
the DREAM Act, 216-198, 208 Democrats and eight Republicans. The very next
week in the Senate, what was it? It was 55 votes for cloture, 51
Democrats, four Republicans.

There were Republican senators who had been co sponsors of the DREAM
Act that wouldn`t vote for cloture. And then they say we haven`t been
trying.

Look, what the president`s action is a reflection of the will of the
nation, of both House of Representatives and the Senate. And he has freed
800,000 people, his promise, and the promise that I made, along with
Senator McCain, and Kennedy and Congressman Flake who is now running for
the Senate in the state of Arizona.

We introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation for comprehensive
immigration in 2004, and what did we say? We wanted to bring people out of
the shadows.

Well, you know, I guess if I said I wanted to increase the minimum
wage by a buck, and I couldn`t get it through the Congress, and the
president did it, you`d think I would say thank you, Mr. President, for
accomplishing that public policy.

If I said I wanted to do something and I couldn`t get it through the
Congress, you might think.

So, all the president has done is do through executive action exactly
what Marco Rubio`s legislation would have done: give them a work visa which
is renewable. Is it permanent? Absolutely, but this is a solution to a
problem.

SCHULTZ: I think this is an important point because Rubio is saying
nobody talked to him. First of all, I don`t know any Democrats who are
working hand in hand with him on this anyway.

It`s an election year. No legislation is going to get passed right
now. So it`s a political move. So what? It helps people.

But the point I want to make with you is -- where does this leave the
president if he gets re-elected? If the president gets reelected, it would
seem to me that this is going to be the issue. What about that?

GUTIERREZ: Ed, let me say the following. You saw that poll, 49
percent Latinos more likely looking at this, more likely to vote for him --
look, Ed, wait for two months down the road when tens of thousands of
people make lines, young people, smart people, Americans, when people start
talking to them and seeing the people in the lines, and you see them
getting their work permits and their work documents, wait until that.
This is for the Latino community a real civil rights issue of bringing
people fairness and making the Justice Department and our system respect
their family values. Just wait until those kids line up --

SCHULTZ: Yes.

GUTIERREZ: -- and you see the happiness.

America is a country that loves its children. And these are children.
This argument that 16-year-olds make decisions, let me tell you, that`s the
extreme point. Most of the kids I met today, Ed, were 9 months old and 2
years old and 3 and 4 years old when they came to the country.

But even if they were 15 years and 364 days, I was that age. If my
dad said we were going, that`s where we were going, and you followed your
parents` lead.

They didn`t have a choice in this matter. They`re here in the
country, we should embrace them.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. Luis
Gutierrez from Chicago -- great to have you on the program tonight.

GUTIERREZ: Thank you so much.

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