"I've spent the past week speaking at length with the President and his staff. In fact, I spoke with him again just this morning. I shared with him that I believed that we could have a victory for every American who deserves affordable, high-quality health care and for the immigrants of our nation.
"I told President Obama I would not sacrifice either goal. After extensive discussions with the President, I believe we have a health care bill I can vote 'yes' for, and I believe we have a commitment to move forward on a comprehensive immigration reform package as soon as possible.
Immigration reform is about to be introduced by Democrat Chuck Schumer and Republican Lindsey Graham.
Our plan has four pillars: requiring biometric Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border security and interior enforcement; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a tough but fair path to legalization for those already here.
So, Gutierrez is supporting this bill on the faith and hope that the president will help push the Schumer/Graham immigration reform package or something similar. Of course, there's already a hurdle. Graham says there is no immigration reform if health care passes.
The first casualty of the Democratic health care bill will be immigration reform. If the health care bill goes through this weekend, that will, in my view, pretty much kill any chance of immigration reform passing the Senate this year,” Graham said in a statement blast-emailed to the Washington press corps.
Frankly, President Obama has used up all his political capital on health care reform. The country is tired, the legislators are tired, and most of all their staffers are exhausted. No one has the energy for a bruising fight. Some have gone to speculating that Obama will try and ram his entire agenda through on reconciliation: cap and trade, financial reform, education reform, and immigration reform. I wish them luck.
Obama got Gutierrez' yes vote and Gutierrez got a vague promise that amounts to nothing.