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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Gutiérrez: Rise Up May 1: The Antidote to Trump's Fear and Bullying

April 5, 2017
Press Release
“This will be a day for all Americans to demonstrate our resistance to the mass deportation, mass discrimination, and mass deception policies of our President.”

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the floor of the House (video: https://youtu.be/bJ2uEIt7nis) about events planned for May 1 in more than 40 cities in 33 states to “to lift up immigrant communities and demonstrate the solidarity between Americans and immigrants” under the slogan “Rise Up May 1.”  On the day observed internationally as Labor Day, activities, rallies, and strikes are going to take place across the USA organized by a coalition of immigrant advocates, labor, religious, youth and community groups (see www.RiseUpMay1.org).

In the speech, the Congressman said Donald Trump relies on fear and bullying in numerous ways – both before and after taking office – and that the way to stand up to fear and bullying is “to stand up with your friends and allies and demonstrate your strength in numbers.”

“If President Trump is going to enact his agenda of deportations, building a wall, and making it impossible for people to come to the United States with visas, he needs to use fear,” the Congressman said. 

“He got elected by creating fear about immigrants, Mexicans and Latinos, calling us rapists and criminals…creating fear about President Obama and “the blacks” and “thugs” and big cities…creating fear among Americans about the big scary world out there with threats from ISIS and Al Qaeda and Mexico…”

But Trump is not just attempting to make America afraid of her immigrants; he is trying to make immigrants afraid of America.

“Trump needs to use fear in another very important way.  He needs to scare the immigrant community.  Why?  Because he knows he does not have the money, the manpower, or the time to drive 11 million men, women and children who are undocumented out of the country.  He doesn’t have enough jails, ICE agents or airplanes to deport 11 million people.  That is a population about as big as the state of Ohio, and such a mass exodus will not be easy.  So they have to use fear…. he has to make them so afraid that they leave the country.”

Standing before a “Rise Up May 1” poster, the Congressman explained that in America, we respond to fear and intimidation by standing up and standing together.

“And how do Americans respond to fear?  Do we hide in our homes and isolate ourselves and run?  No, that is not what people do in the United States of America.  And we never have.  We stand up and we stand together when confronted with fear. So on May 1st, millions of Americans are going to stand up. We are going to stand together.  We are going to Rise Up.”

The Congressman concluded by saying:

“This will be a day for all Americans to demonstrate our resistance to the mass deportation, mass discrimination, and mass deception policies of our President.  The way you deal with fear is to stand up with your friends and allies and demonstrate your strength in numbers.  That is why I will Rise Up on May 1.”

A videotape of the Congressman’s speech to Congress this morning is here: https://youtu.be/bJ2uEIt7nis

The text is below.

Rep. Gutiérrez is in his 13th term representing the Fourth District of Illinois.  He is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and is the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Remarks, as prepared for delivery

April 5, 2017

Mr. Speaker,

If Donald Trump is going to be successful as a President – successful from his point of view, not from the point of view of the American people, or of history, or the rest of the world, or of the point of view of people who like peace and freedom – but from his point of view, then he is going to have to rely on fear.

He got elected by creating fear about immigrants, Mexicans and Latinos, calling us rapists and criminals.

He got elected by creating fear about President Obama and “the blacks” and “thugs” and big cities.

He got elected by creating fear among Americans about the big scary world out there with threats from ISIS and Al Qaeda and Mexico – and, for some reason, he left out things like the fear of Russia or Putin, his friend.

And if President Trump is going to enact his agenda of deportations, building a wall, and making it impossible for people to come to the United States with visas, he needs to use fear, as well.

For example, he feels he needs to publish a list every week of the crimes that were committed by immigrants to scare Americans into fearing our community.

And Trump needs to use fear in another very important way.  He needs to scare the immigrant community.

Why?  Because he knows he does not have the money, the manpower, or the time to drive 11 million men, women and children who are undocumented out of the country. 

He doesn’t have enough jails, ICE agents or airplanes to deport 11 million people. 

That is a population about as big as the state of Ohio, and such a mass exodus will not be easy.

So they have to use fear. 

Trump has to make immigrants scared to leave their houses.

Trump has to make parents scared to take their kids to school.

Trump has to make the doctor’s office, the court house, the police station and the fire department places that immigrants are afraid of.

Trump has to make sure that undocumented immigrants who are raising children – most of whom are American citizens, by the way – in families who have lived in the U.S. on average more than a dozen years – who own homes, cars and businesses – he has to make them so afraid that they leave the country.

It is a presidency and a presidential policy agenda that relies on fear and bullying to achieve success – or what the people who surround Trump define as success, at any rate.

And how do Americans respond to fear?  Do we hide in our homes and isolate ourselves and run?  No, that is not what people do in the United States of America.  And we never have.

We stand up and we stand together when confronted with fear.

So on May 1st, millions of Americans are going to stand up.

We are going to stand together.

We are going to Rise Up.

May 1 is an international day to recognize the contributions of working people and it is observed as Labor Day in much of the world.

And this year it will be a day to honor working people of all types, but there will be a special emphasis this year on immigrants working and living in the United States.

In 42 cities in 33 states from Milwaukee, to Seattle, to Los Angeles, to Chicago, New York, and Boston, cities and towns will hold activities, marches, rallies and workshops to lift up immigrant communities and demonstrate the solidarity between Americans and immigrants.

This is a campaign to galvanize the broad support for immigrants, so this is not going to be just a Latino thing or an immigrant thing.

Churches, Mosques and Congregations are going to Rise Up.

Unions, students, teachers, and working men and women are going to Rise Up.

And let’s be clear.  When we marched for women in massive numbers the day after inauguration, it was not just women marching.

When we came to the airports to stand up for American values and against Trump’s Muslim Ban, it was not just Muslim’s standing up for American values, it was a lot of the rest of us too.

So, if you care about justice, Rise Up with us.

If you think a man should be able to use the men’s bathroom, even if his birth certificate says he was born a woman, Rise Up with us.

If you think Global Warming is a thing and science is a thing and the planet earth is a thing to be protected, then go to Rise-Up-May-1 (dot) O-R-G to get more info about what is planned in your city or state

This will be a day for all Americans to demonstrate our resistance to the mass deportation, mass discrimination, and mass deception policies of our President.

The way you deal with fear is to stand up with your friends and allies and demonstrate your strength in numbers.

That is why I will Rise Up on May 1.

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