Democratic U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois recently visited Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston, Massachusetts, to discuss immigration policy and criticize the toll deportation has taken on families.
In Providence, where he spoke Saturday, Gutierrez claimed that under President Barack Obama, 400,000 deportations took place – more than under any other president, he claims, according to the Providence Journal. He told the crowd, which consisted largely of immigrants, that he supported ridding the country of illegal immigrants, but not in the way in which it’s being done. He said that Obama already has the authority to put into effect a “parole-in-place” program under which illegal immigrants could stay in the country if their children were born here in order to raise them, as could the illegal spouses of Americans who had children with them.
In Boston, where Gutierrez visited on Sunday, he warned that Obama would lose the support of the Latino population if he continued to fail to act, the Boston Globe reports.
“The majority of people that are deported from the United States have absolutely no criminal background,” Gutierrez told the Boston crowd. “You know who they are? They’re somebody’s mom. They’re somebody’s dad. … They’re somebody that is loved by somebody here in the country.”