Observations by an Immigration Lawyer on Representative Gutierrez’s Threat

As an immigration lawyer in San Francisco, one area I have focused on in this blog is on the likelihood of immigration reform actually happening and the push by Democrats to get Congress to seriously consider such reforms. Just the other day, President Obama met with Senators Graham and Schumer on this issue.

President Obama was, overall, vaguely supportive and that type of support may now hurt him when it comes to healthcare legislation. It’s been reported by the Chicago Sun Times that Representative Luis Gutierrez (D- Ill.), who is from the President’s home state, has said that he will vote “no” on the Obama health reform proposal.

When asked by a reporter, the representative said, “Am I going to vote for the proposal as it is currently formulated? No.”

It signals exactly how serious certain lawmakers and immigration rights groups are about ensuring that a comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration laws happens this year. Gutierrez, who has been instrumental in creating an immigration reform bill, met with the President on Thursday as part of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on the issue.

The entire caucus may vote against Obama’s healthcare measure. But the “no” vote is not just linked to the perception that the President is not supporting immigration changes. It is also founded on the fact that the health reform bill will not allow undocumented immigrants to purchase health insurance.

This issue reveals what I have come to understand over the past few years in my practice as an immigration lawyer in San Francisco—that the issue of immigration and immigration reform is interconnected to many different situations and issues that one might never consider. It is extremely complex.

It also shows that Democrats who are devoted to the reform of the immigration laws are willing to play hardball. There are then many other issues and causes that are coming into play that threaten both healthcare and immigration reform.
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I am constantly working in my immigration law practice with clients who feel the real effect of a lack of immigration reform. This developing situation may determine just when we will see immigration reform and what form it will take.

Please contact the Ranchod Law Group with offices in San Francisco, San Jose Bay Area and Sacramento California, if you have any questions regarding immigration reform or present immigration law. To schedule a consultation contact us at 415-986-6186 or at info@ranchodlaw.com.
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