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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Puerto Rico

I was born in Chicago to parents who migrated from Puerto Rico in the 1950’s and I later returned with them to live on the Island in the 1960’s. As a Puerto Rican member of Congress and someone who represents Puerto Ricans in Illinois' 4th Congressional District, I closely follow issues affecting the Island and my constituents with strong ties there.

More on Puerto Rico

October 17, 2017 Press Release
This morning at a press conference in Chicago, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) told reporters he was going back to Puerto Rico on Wednesday (10/18) to see for himself what progress is being made in getting relief to the people of Puerto Rico. The Congressman will visit Comerio (in the central highlands) on Thursday and Loiza Aldea (on the northeast coast) on Friday, returning to Chicago on Saturday (10/21). He is flying commercial and some news media from Chicago are planning to accompany him. “It has been four weeks and some people still don’t have reliable access to water, medicine, or food and I want to see why and what Congress can do,” said Rep. Gutiérrez.
October 12, 2017 Press Release
For the second day in a row, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor about Puerto Rico, today responding to Tweets this morning from the President suggesting it was time for FEMA and the U.S. military to pull out of Puerto Rico’s recovery effort. Rep. Gutiérrez responded to the President with a question and an answer: "How long do we have to stay, Mr. President? Until every Puerto Rican name is taken off of the Vietnam Memorial or erased from the records of Korea, Afghanistan or Iraq. We stay as long as it takes."
October 11, 2017 Press Release
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor today and called for the evacuation from Puerto Rico of the sick, elderly and vulnerable who are at risk because the situation in Puerto Rico has not been stabilized after three weeks. The Congressman spoke Tuesday with Chicago firefighters who volunteered to go to Puerto Rico who report that things are “worse than we are being told.” Citing an article from the New York Times, he said the health care situation is dire and people are dying because of the lack of power, the lack of water, and the inability of clinics and hospitals to keep up with demand. The Congressman said: "Our response to Hurricane Maria and the people of Puerto Rico is a national and international embarrassment and tragedy. Our own citizens in our own Caribbean colonies of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and we have not helped them."
October 5, 2017 Press Release
On Thursday, a group of Democratic House Members who represent substantial Puerto Rican constituencies in their districts held a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol to discuss what they are hearing from the Puerto Rican communities they represent. In particular, the Members said they are receiving pleas of help from constituents to get sick, elderly and vulnerable loved ones off of the island and to the mainland. At the press conference, they discussed the urgency with which aid is needed in Puerto Rico, but also the need to evacuate people and help them resettle on the mainland if they want to. In total, eight Members of Congress from five states spoke at the press conference and Rep. Darren Soto of Florida, who is one of the four Democrats of Puerto Rican heritage, was called away, but provided a statement for this press release.
October 4, 2017 Press Release
For the second day in a row, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor about what he saw while he was in Puerto Rico over the weekend and about the President’s trip to Puerto Rico yesterday. The President and First Lady met with officials and toured Guaynabo, a wealthy suburb of San Juan, and the President was also pictured distributing flashlights and paper towels to victims of Hurricane Maria. The President also remarked that Puerto Rico was throwing his budget “out of whack” and that the death toll, then 16, now officially 34, compares favorably to “a real catastrophe like Katrina” and therefore shows the President that the relief effort in Puerto Rico is going great. Rep. Gutiérrez does not agree with the President’s rosy assessment.
October 3, 2017 Press Release
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor about what he saw while he was in Puerto Rico over the weekend, the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding, and the need for U.S. cities and towns to prepare to receive Puerto Rican evacuees. Yesterday in Chicago, Rep. Gutierrez and other Puerto Rican and city leaders met with the Mayor of Chicago and the Mayor made it clear at a press conference that Chicago would take steps to welcome Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Islander evacuees, in addition to aid that the city is sending. Rep. Gutiérrez used part of his speech to address the Puerto Rican people directly in Spanish, saying, “Oímos tus peticiones de ayuda, y la fuerza del gobierno estadounidense finalmente vienen a ayudar”. (“We hear your cries for help and the full strength of the American government is finally coming to help.”)
September 28, 2017 Press Release
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) will fly to San Juan from Chicago early Friday morning and plans to return to Chicago on Sunday. He will both travel within the San Juan Metro area and go out of the city to see for himself the damage caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma and assess why relief is not flowing to the people of Puerto Rico quickly enough. “It has been more than a week and basic aid like food, water, medicine and fuel isn’t getting where it needs to be to help people,” Rep. Gutiérrez said. “We can’t allow inaction in Washington to create a humanitarian crisis for 3.4 million American citizens in Puerto Rico. I won’t sit back and watch TV as another crisis like Katrina in New Orleans unfolds. These are our people and they need our help right now.”
September 27, 2017 Press Release
On Wednesday, Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) wrote to Defense Secretary James Mattis to request an urgent meeting to discuss the crisis in Puerto Rico. The Island is still without power, food, fuel, water, and adequate medical supplies a week after Hurricane Maria. The United States military has aided natural disaster victims in the past – both on domestic soil and foreign soil. While some military resources have already deployed to the Puerto Rico operation, Crowley and Gutiérrez believe the Department of Defense (DOD) has the capability and capacity to do much more.
September 27, 2017 Press Release
Today, U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Darren Soto (D-FL), Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), and José Serrano (D-NY), in response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, introduced the Humanitarian Disaster Relief Act of 2017 to permit waiving the Jones Act for humanitarian relief efforts. “What is more important, getting aid to people in need or policies to maintain profits for shipping companies?” said Rep. Gutiérrez. “Let the aid flow from wherever it is available to wherever it is needed most, without bureaucratic or man-made barriers.”
September 26, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC -- Today, Rep. Luis V.