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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Gutiérrez Calls Out House GOP Over White House Racism On Immigration & DACA

February 27, 2018
Press Release
“The President still plans to kill DACA and make hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are currently documented and known to their government into undocumented immigrants forced underground – vulnerable, exploitable, and deportable. The House has an opportunity – indeed, a responsibility – to step up to the occasion and craft a permanent solution.”
Issues: 

Washington, DC – Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) called on his colleagues in the House to legislate a permanent solution to the fact that President Trump wants to end the DACA program that protects some Dreamers from deportation.  In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, he said that despite the failure of DACA legislation in the Senate and the Supreme Court’s decision to let a lower court’s injunction against the President stand for now, “does not mean that the House and Republicans are off the hook for DACA.”  The Illinois Congressman appealed to his fellow legislators to stand up to “the racists who are driving immigration policy in the White House [and] are defining the agenda for every House Republican and are shaping the brand of the Republican Party not just as the party opposed to illegal immigration, but now as the party opposed to legal immigration.”

He said:

The House has an opportunity – indeed, a responsibility – to step up to the occasion and craft a permanent solution.  The good news is the solution is supported by more than 8 in 10 voters in the United States, a pathway to citizenship.  Can we as a body rise to the occasion to do something Americans want us to do?  Can we set aside questions of who wins and who loses politically long enough to do what is right?  We won’t know unless we try.

He went on to say that he has great faith in the House of Representatives and its Democratic and Republican Members to rise above the immigration agenda of the White House, which he described as “an ethno-centric, pro-European, pro-White agenda that will hurt America.”  He said:

I am one Democrat who will work with Republicans if Republicans are serious about solutions.  But it must start with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle saying yes, we want to solve the problem and we want to rise above the racism emanating from the White House today.

A video of the Congressman’s remarks is here: https://youtu.be/8MOMRm4A_AE

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Floor Remarks

February 27, 2018; Approx. 10:15 am ET

When we left Washington before the President’s Day recess, we watched our colleagues in the Senate vote on a series of bills to address immigration.  Only one bill received 60 votes, but it was 60 votes against the bill offered by Senator Grassley, the bill that most closely matches the President’s hatred for immigrants. 

So, a super-majority in the Senate opposes the President’s plan for massive cuts to legal immigration and massive deportations. 

Then, yesterday, President Trump’s campaign against immigrants received another blow: the Supreme Court declined to take a case from California and declined to lift an injunction requiring the Department of Homeland Security to continue to process renewals for the DACA program.  Which means that those who signed up for DACA over the past 5 years can renew their DACA now and the arbitrary deadline the President set for kicking a thousand people per day off the program beginning Monday has, like so much Trump does, been stopped for now.

Just take a moment to appreciate what happened.  The Attorney General and the President – without offering any evidence – told the American people that they had to end the DACA program because it was illegal and the courts would strike it down.

As it turns out, the truth is almost the exact opposite of what the President and the Attorney General have told the country.  While no court has ever found DACA illegal or even legally suspect, their actions, based on this lie, to kill the DACA program has been found highly questionable in the courts.

But let’s be clear, Mr. Speaker; just because the courts have taken action and the Senate failed to take action, does not mean that the House and Republicans are off the hook for DACA. 

The President still plans to kill DACA and make hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are currently documented and known to their government into undocumented immigrants forced underground – vulnerable, exploitable, and deportable.

The House has an opportunity – indeed, a responsibility – to step up to the occasion and craft a permanent solution.

The good news is the solution is supported by more than 8 in 10 voters in the United States, a pathway to citizenship. 

Can we as a body rise to the occasion to do something Americans want us to do?  Can we set aside questions of who wins and who loses politically long enough to do what is right?  We won’t know unless we try.

Many on the other side say there should only be one option: leave or be deported, but that is not what we do to American children.  And let’s be clear, these are American children.  We do not force American children to live in exile for 10, 20 or 30 years.  We do not educate and acculturate our youth to then force them out. 

If you are an American patriot, the last thing you want is for the world to see us deporting our own.  Just ask your donors, the Koch Brothers, who know that saving the Dreamers is what is they call something demanded of us as patriots.

So, Mr. Speaker, the ball is in our court.  We need to take action now.

If we can craft a compromise to protect Dreamers and allow them to live in their home country, America – if both sides concede something to the other – we may get to a solution.  That is what leaders must do.  A compromise will likely be painful for all.

We need to show the country that we are willing to take the heat and that we are ready to legislate.

The President set us on this course.  He pulled the legal rug from underneath the Dreamers and then cloaked his position on immigration in an ethno-centric, pro-European, pro-White agenda that will hurt America.

But the racists – and we must call them out for what they are – the racists who are driving immigration policy in the White House are defining the agenda for every House Republican and are shaping the brand of the Republican Party not just as the party opposed to illegal immigration, but now as the party opposed to legal immigration. 

Not just as the party who doesn’t want poor or Latin American immigrants, but doesn’t want brown or black or anyone who isn’t white in their country.

If that is how my colleagues on the other side of the aisle define themselves and want to remembered, then they should do nothing.

But I have greater faith in this institution and in the ability of this Congress to rise above racism and do something that the American people want us to do without regard to race, religion, or national origin. 

I am one Democrat who will work with Republicans if Republicans are serious about solutions. 

But it must start with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle saying yes, we want to solve the problem and we want to rise above the racism emanating from the White House today.

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