November 14, 2017 Press Release
“I do not trust him or anyone in this Administration to tell the truth, to stand by their word, or to be forthright, especially with regards to Russia and connections between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin.”
Rep Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) will be among those questioning Attorney General Jeff Sessions at an oversight hearing in the House Judiciary Committee this morning. The Congressman said he will demand that the Attorney General – for a change – tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth under oath. In previous testimony before the Senate, the Attorney General has denied meetings with Russian officials that in fact took place, denied participating in meetings about connections between Russia and the Trump campaign that in fact took place, and otherwise failed to answer questions truthfully and completely in both oral and written testimony under oath.
Washington, DC – Congressman José E. Serrano, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, and Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, co-chairs of the newly formed Puerto Rico Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, today released the following statement in support of Governor Rossello’s emergency supplemental appropriations request for post Hurricane Maria recovery efforts: “Almost two months after Hurricane Maria, most of Puerto Rico is still in the dark and too many lack access to potable water. While last month’s disaster supplemental was a start in the recovery effort for Puerto Rico, much more needs to be done to help the island address the ongoing crisis in a comprehensive manner. The Governor’s request outlines the scale of assistance that is needed to help Puerto Rico get back on its feet. We are united in our efforts to help the island, and will be doing everything possible to ensure that Puerto Rico fully recovers.”
“I don’t care if it was incompetence by one federal agency or the other, the DACA applicants did everything right and they are still getting rejection notices and their whole lives in this country and the hopes and dreams of their families are at stake.”
Rep Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) has learned of at least 21 cases in Chicago where applicants to renew DACA have been denied because USCIS says they did not accept the applications before the October 5, 2017 deadline. When the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program was killed by President Trump in September, a window for renewal applications was opened for some DACA recipients whose DACA status expired before March 5 of next year. However, USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the branch of Homeland Security that processes applications for immigrants) said the applications had to be “accepted” by October 5 of this year. But applications mailed to USCIS as early as September 13 were not received or “accepted” for processing, even though they were mailed from addresses in Chicago to the USCIS lockbox address also in Chicago. In one case, an application mailed to the Chicago lockbox address on September 13 via registered mail was delivered, according to the Post Office receipt, on October 5, but USCIS says it did not receive it until the next day, thereby making the application invalid. In another case, an application was mailed on September 21, which the Post Office estimated would be received by September 29. The actual receipt, according to USCIS, was October 9. Cases came directly to Rep. Gutierrez’s office and through local advocacy groups that helped DACA applicants before the deadline, including the Instituto for Progreso Latino and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. It is not clear if the U.S. Postal Service is to blame or USCIS, but that doesn’t matter to Congressman Gutierrez.
November 8, 2017 Press Release
Team Whipping Democrats includes Reps. Raul Grijalva, Pramila Jayapal & Adriano Espaillat
In the newspaper The Hill today, 25 House Democrats articulated their strategy and priorities in demanding a vote on the DREAM Act (HR. 3440) before the end of the year. In short, the groups said they will withhold votes from various funding bills unless Republicans give them a vote on the DREAM Act. “We will fight for our Dreamers” http://bit.ly/2iEMdyf, The Hill, November 8, 2017 By Luis V. Gutiérrez, Raúl M. Grijalva, Adriano Espaillat, Pramila Jayapal, Mark Pocan, Steve Cohen, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ruben Gallego, Tony Cárdenas, Wm. Lacy Clay, Nydia M. Velázquez, José E. Serrano, Lois Frankel, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Jimmy Gomez, Chellie Pingree, Albio Sires, Eleanor Holmes Norton, James P. McGovern, Keith Ellison, Jan Schakowsky, Frank Pallone, Jr., Grace F. Napolitano, Barbara Lee, and Ro Khanna. Also today, several Members of Congress who had authored the article spoke at a Washington Press conference, including Luis V. Gutiérrez, Raúl M. Grijalva, Adriano Espaillat, Pramila Jayapal, Ruben Gallego, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Keith Ellison, Jan Schakowsky and Grace F. Napolitano.
“Between the shockingly exorbitant salaries of your staff and what appears to me to be an excessive use of a large and unnecessary protection detail, I can only say that I am appalled.”
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) participated in a hearing on Tuesday in the House Natural Resources Committee where he asked questions of two senior leaders of the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and management Board, also known as the Junta de Control Fiscal of just the Junta. They were reluctant to answer his questions, to say the least. A video of the Congressman’s questions and answers at the hearing is here: https://youtu.be/-JjLk_tm4bw Today, Rep. Gutiérrez wrote to the Chairman of the Junta José B. Carrión, III to express “outrage and dismay” at the performance of the two officials and request that they be fired immediately.
November 8, 2017 Press Release
“I should not have to give this speech almost two months after the storm. We should have accomplished much more. The people of Puerto Rico pretty much understand that President Trump doesn’t want to help them.”
This morning on the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) reported on his third and latest relief trip to Puerto Rico bringing aid from the people of Chicago to the stricken island. During his trip (Friday 11/3 – Monday 11/6), the Congressman visited several towns, including Jayuya and Loíza where he met with local mayors and community leaders. He brought photographs from his most recent trip to illustrate his floor speech this morning. The Congressman began his remarks by saying “I wish I could report that a lot of progress is being made, but I can’t. It is still a disaster that is a stain on the reputation of the United States.” The first picture was of a group of people by the side of a road near Jayuya washing clothes with spring water in a bucket using a toilet plunger. The Congressman said, “This man is a police officer, but he is learning to make do, just like every other Puerto Rican. Everywhere you go, you see Puerto Ricans making do.”
November 7, 2017 Press Release
Makes Federal Share of Disaster Relief 100% for Puerto Rico
At a press conference today, Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) introduced the Waiver of Emergency Payments Act (WEPA), a bill to eliminate cost-sharing requirements for Puerto Rico for recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Under current law (the Stafford Act that governs FEMA major disaster assistance), Puerto Rico or any U.S. state or territory would be expected to pay up to 25% of the costs to the federal government of disaster relief. In addition, with certain forms of assistance the Administration has the authority to assume a cost share greater than 75% by waiving a percentage of the state or territory cost share, but such waivers are often time limited and rarely dip below 10%. Under WEPA, if enacted, all cost-sharing would be waived for Puerto Rico in handling the current disaster. The bill does not have an assigned bill number as of this writing. “Puerto Rico was in a dire financial strain before Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria and has struggled every day since the storms made landfall,” said Rep. Espaillat. “Puerto Rico is flat out broke and to require the island to pay for its own recovery is simply outrageous and harsh. We introduced this bill as part of our efforts to continue the call for emergency federal assistance to rebuild Puerto Rico and to ensure the island receives the funding it needs and does not have to pay for its own clean up. It’s simply the right thing to do.” “Puerto Rico needs all the help it can get and should not be constrained in asking for help based on what it can pay back, said Rep. Gutiérrez. “The government of Puerto Rico is already controlled by the financial oversight and management board, known as the Junta. Let’s not mess around with payments and waivers; Puerto Rico should be off the hook, period, punto, when it comes to recovery.”
November 7, 2017 Press Release
“The cost of electing a President with deep-seated animosity towards Latinos and immigrants is becoming more real – and more tragic – every day.”
Yesterday, the Trump Administration announced it is cancelling Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaraguans in the United States, terminating the work authorization and protection from deportation for approximately 2,500 individuals who have lived, worked, and raised families in the U.S. for almost two decades. This is the latest round of news on the TPS program and further terminations are expected that could end TPS status for 57,000 Hondurans and the other people currently protected by TPS (the overall estimate is 320,000 people from 10 countries). The next decision date is on November 23 for approximately 50,000 Haitians living and working in the United States. "The President does not have a mandate to turn documented immigrants into undocumented immigrants so that it is easier to deport them, yet by terminating TPS and the DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, that is exactly what he is doing. He is uprooting millions of lives that have been established in the United States, families that are deeply ingrained in American communities, businesses that help our economy and working men and women who contribute to our success. It is an avoidable tragedy that the President is inflicting on our nation..."
November 3, 2017 Press Release
This morning, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) flew to Puerto Rico for his third relief trip since Hurricane Maria hit the island in September. He will visit towns that are still struggling to recover, meet with Mayors leading the recovery efforts, and deliver direct relief aid from the people of Chicago to Puerto Rico, coordinated by the Puerto Rican Agenda. Saturday he will visit Caguas. On Sunday he will visit Jayuya and meet with Mayor Jorge “Georgie” González Otero. Later Sunday, he will visit with the Sisters of Jesus Mediador (Hermanas de Jesús Mediador) who work with the distressed, homeless and vulnerable in El Volcan, Bayamón. On Monday, the Congressman will return to Loíza to visit Mayor Julia Nazario and meet with Oscar López Rivera, the former political prisoner who is organizing a community reconstruction brigade to help rebuild the island.
November 2, 2017 Press Release
“You simply cannot make a deal with Donald Trump and expect him to hold up his end of the bargain two months, two weeks or two minutes later.”
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement today in response to news that Republican Senators and President Trump have decided to exclude the DREAM Act or any other protection for immigrant youth with DACA from the spending package that must be passed by December 8. The following is a statement from Rep. Gutiérrez who is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. "The President ended DACA and the top priority of many Democrats is to make sure that DREAMers are in a safe place by the end of this year. It sounds like Republicans and the President are reneging on that plan and all the promises we had from the White House to work towards passage of a bill to protect DREAMers from deportation are out the window. You simply cannot make a deal with Donald Trump and expect him to hold up his end of the bargain two months, two weeks or two minutes later."