Juan Jose Gutierrez, the president of an immigration activist group called Vamos Unidos, predicts that hundreds of thousands of people will march in Los Angeles on May Day, demanding legalization for illegal immigrants. In an appearance Sunday on the Univision program "Al Punto", Gutierrez said that legalization is the only way out of the current policy stalemate. Expressing alarm that federal authorities have deported more than 800,000 illegal immigrants during the Obama administration, he warned that unless Congress passes immigration reform, mounting frustrations with enforcement of immigration laws could lead to violence. Here is an excerpt from his comments:
What is the country going to do? When are they going to start arresting – not 800,000 – all of us? When are they going to declare war on us? When will there be a civil war in this country? Is that what the country wants? Is that what the president wants? Is that what the leaders in Congress want? That there be conflicts like we had in the sixties, where the violence explodes? Because our people – it has to be said clearly – can't take any more.
In an apparent reference to total number of illegal immigrants arrested and removed from the country, through deportations carried out by ICE and "voluntary returns" carried out by the Border Patrol, Gutierrez then said:
We're talking about more than a million people that they have been deporting every year for more than 25 years. This doesn't happen anyplace in the world. We need to be grateful that it hasn't happened to more people here, taking into account what has happened in France with the immigrants, in Spain and in other countries where there has been real violence. And here there is still time to (solve the problem) civically.