Gutiérrez On Trump Immigration News & House Deportation Bill On Floor Today
Washington, DC -- Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement in reaction to the news yesterday that President Trump and Democratic Leaders had made progress towards the DREAM Act of 2017 and the debate on the House Floor today on H.R. 3697, the so-called “Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act.” The bill was introduced last week, has six co-sponsors, and is being debated and will likely pass today. It makes it easier for the government to label people as gang members and jail or deport them.
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.
While the President is playing deal or no deal with the lives of DREAMers, Speaker Ryan is allowing House Republicans to vote on a bill that labels as many immigrant youth as possible as gang members and makes it easier to deport them. He could be moving the bipartisan DREAM Act forward, but instead, he wants to make it very clear that Republicans see Latinos and immigrants as a threat to the U.S., not an asset. Hundreds of thousands of doctors, teachers, nurses and soldiers are going to be yanked from the American economy if Speaker Ryan does not allow the DREAM Act to go forward in the next few weeks, but his priority is feeding red meat to the anti-immigration wing of his party and satisfying them with a big helping of ‘let’s label Latino youth as machete-wielding menaces.’” This is not a bill to curtail violence or make the country safer, it is a political bill to allow Republicans in the House to make speeches about urging Americans to fear young immigrants.
It is clear that Democrats and Republicans would prefer to be talking about the DREAM Act and showing the country that we can act in a bipartisan manner to resolve the status of DACA recipients and other immigrants who were raised in the U.S. I am committed to not exchanging the safety of DREAMers for more deportations or further restricting legal immigration so that there are no available legal avenues for immigrants who help feed us, build our communities and serve our country. But the priorities of House Republicans seem inconsistent with what the American people, the majority of House Members and their own voters want them to do.
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