The Washington Times - December 22, 2012, 05:05PM

One of President Obama’s biggest backers on Capitol Hill expressed a bit of frustration Saturday on the lack of progress since Election Day on immigration reform at the White House.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat, said in an appearance on MSNBC that the president’s schedule may be crowded, but he needs to make immigration more of a priority.

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“The president has taken some very good steps,” the former Chicago city councilman said. “Would I have liked to have seen the president have fewer … Christmas parties and more gatherings to speak about this issue during the last few weeks? Yes.”

“I know that he’s dealing with very momentous issues, but at the same time I also see a calendar at the White House. Look, it’s great that Eva Longoria from ‘Desperate Housewives’ is out there, meeting with the president, but maybe he should gather more of the immigrant community so we can begin to polish up that immigration policy and get a strategy so that we can really start.”

Mr. Gutierrez, 59, is a 10-term congressman and chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force.

Mr. Obama, who last summer issued a directive halting deportations of students brought illegally to the country as children, won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote on Nov. 6.