S.A. congressman Gonzalez says caucus not deterred from immigration reform.
By Gary Martin
December 21, 2010
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama met Tuesday with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, whose members emerged from the White House with a vow to push ahead on immigration reform after the disappointing defeat of the DREAM Act.
Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, chairman-elect of the caucus, led Latino lawmakers in the Oval Office meeting with the president to discuss immigration reform strategy in the next Congress.
“We discussed our deep disappointment over the failure of the DREAM Act and the lack of support from congressional Republicans, but how this will not deter our commitment to solving this critical issue,” said Gonzalez, D-San Antonio.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president met with Latino lawmakers to discuss moving forward. He said the president will continue to push for bipartisan support to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.
“The only way to do that is for the federal government to debate and enact comprehensive immigration reform,” Gibbs said.
The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act was approved by the House, 216-198, earlier this month.
But Senate Republicans, including Texas Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, voted to block the measure in the Senate, which effectively killed the bill for lack of action.
Republicans will gain control of the House when the next Congress convenes in January, making passage of immigration reform legislation favored by the Hispanic caucus more difficult.
“The rule of law remains a guiding principle as we continue to seek fairer and more effective immigration law reform that serves the best interests of our country,” Gonzalez said.
The meeting lasted less than an hour. Obama has met regularly with the Hispanic caucus during the year on immigration and other concerns in the minority community.
Also attending the meeting Tuesday were Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., the outgoing caucus chairwoman, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.