Last week, U. S. Representative Luis Gutierrez announced that he will not run for Chicago mayor. Instead, according to Gutierrez, he’ll stay in Congress where he will remain in what he identified as his “important role” as a leader in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform and especially the DREAM Act. Give Gutierrez credit for unintentionally proving immigration restrictionists like us some much needed laughs. Typically, a “leader” has at least one or two victories to point to. But that’s not the case with Gutierrez. Despite hundreds of nationwide rallies, the endorsement of America’s most prominent religious and academic leaders, pleas from various so called model immigrant students, the urging of the mainstream media as well as the Democratic Party’s left wing, the DREAM Act has been stopped cold for a decade. I’ve been following the DREAM Act since 2001 when it first appeared, under a slightly different guise, in the 107th Congress as H.R. 1918 and in the Senate as S. 1291. Since then, it has been introduced multiple times over the years in both the Senate (as the “DREAM Act”) and the House (as the “American Dream Act”): in the Senate as S.1545 (108th Congress), S.2075 (109th Congress), S.774 (110th Congress), and S.2205 (110th Congress) and in the House as H.R.1684 (108th Congress), H.R.5131 (109th Congress), and H.R.1275 (110th Congress). More doomed efforts followed. The DREAM Act text was also placed in various other failed immigration-related bills, including the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S. 2611) and the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348). With the failure of all the “comprehensive” reform bills, U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, the DREAM Act’s chief Senate proponent and Gutierrez’s Illinois colleague, made its passage a top 2007 priority. Durbin then spearheaded a failed effort to bury the DREAM Act deep in a Department of Defense Authorization bill (S. 2919). Finally, last month, in a stinging defeat for Gutierrez, Senate Republicans blocked a defense bill that included the DREAM Act attached as amendment by a 56-43 vote. Gutierrez has fared no better on comprehensive immigration reform. In late 2009, he introduced H.R. 4321, an amnesty bill that one year later has only 103 cosponsors most from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The true reasons that Gutierrez declined to enter the mayor’s race have nothing to do with what he perceives as his crusader’s role in the immigration struggle. What’s behind Gutierrez’s decision is a looming federal investigation regarding an illegal $200,000 campaign loan made to him by convicted real estate developer Calvin Boender which would come under greater scrutiny during a mayoral bid. Most importantly, Gutierrez’s internal polling shows that he’s currently running a distant fourth among the probable candidates.