“Huge,” “bold,” and “unprecedented” is how a thrilled Representative Luis Gutiérrez (D., Ill.) described reports that the Obama administration is considering granting legal status to up to 5 million illegal immigrants. He’s especially excited, he said, because the White House is actually trying to downplay the significance of the huge measure.
“It’s music to my ears” said Gutiérrez, one of the leading voices in the House to pass comprehensive immigration reform, on MSNBC. Last month, he predicted that as many as 5 million people might gain status if President Obama opts to take unilateral action.
Gutiérrez urged communities to take steps to avoid being “ill-prepared” for the announcement, as he said they were the last time President Obama granted legal status to illegal immigrants, under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals memorandum in 2012.
“When 5 million people are allowed the opportunity to come out from under the shadows and into the light of day and get legalized, it’s going to take a lot of work and capacity of our community,” he said, “but I’m looking forward to that challenge.”