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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Press Releases

November 1, 2017 Press Release
“We know President Trump wants to end the program because the majority of the people who come to America on Diversity visas are from sub-Saharan Africa and it has always been on the hit list of the anti-immigration movement.”
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement today in response to President Trump’s attacks on the Diversity Visa Program and Senator Chuck Schumer’s alleged role in creating the program. After the murder of eight people in New York, two of whom were Americans, by a terrorist from Uzbekistan, the President claimed that the Diversity Visa program that grants 50,000 green cards (Lawful Permanent Resident status) per year was to blame for the attack and that Senator Schumer’s support for the program was singled out for blame. 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.
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October 31, 2017 Press Release
Announcement comes in response to Cleaver and Gutiérrez’s letter requesting Private Prison CEO’s back serious criminal justice reform efforts
(Washington, D.C.) - Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver, II and Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) applaud the news today that one of the largest private prison systems in the United States has agreed to their request to support criminal justice reform efforts. Earlier this year, Congressman Cleaver (D-MO) and Congressmen Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) sent a letter to the CEO's of Core Civic and The Geo Group, INC urging the private prison CEO’s to back national criminal justice reform efforts. In the letter, which can be found here, to CEO Damon Hininger and CEO George Zoley, the Congressmen stated, "Your organizations have often publicly said that you do not support positions that lead to enhanced incarceration, but in supporting a President who is implementing policies designed to increase the populations of individuals in both criminal and immigration detention, you are advocating for policies that deprive people of their liberty in order for you to increase your profits," "We believe this is immoral and unjust,"... Today, Core Civic responded to the letter announcing a stepped-up effort to lobby for government programs and policies to keep former inmates from returning behind bars. Core Civic listed several steps to achieve this goal on their website. Among the concrete steps, the company said it will advocate for "ban the box" policies to keep employers from asking about a job applicant's criminal history until after an initial interview. "Ban the box" policies have been put in place for state workers in 29 states. Nine states have removed the conviction history question from private employer job applications, according to the National Employment Law Project. Of the 405,000 prisoners released in 30 states in 2005, 77 percent were re-arrested within five years, and more than half returned to prison, a federal study found. Roughly 70 million Americans have an arrest or a conviction record.
October 27, 2017 Press Release
This is still a major emergency even though it is fading from the headlines on the mainland.”
For weeks, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) has expressed concern that the elderly and most vulnerable people in Puerto Rico who want to leave for safety on the mainland have not been given the means to do so, but Wednesday, Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló made a request to FEMA that could, if approved, help some of the most vulnerable on the island reach safety. The Governor requested that the FEMA Temporary Shelter Assistance (TSA) program be turned on so that people whose homes are destroyed or uninhabitable can access temporary shelter on the island and anywhere in the United States. If FEMA grants the request, it could help some of the people who have left Puerto Rico by their own means to seek FEMA-funded temporary stays in hotels and motels in Chicago and elsewhere. “There is a lot more that FEMA can be doing to get assistance to people in Puerto Rico and a lot more they can do to get the elderly, the sick and the vulnerable to safety,” said Congressman Gutiérrez who has visited the island to deliver relief supplies from Chicago twice since Hurricane Maria hit in September.
October 25, 2017 Press Release
“The last thing the people need right now is a fat cat lining his pockets with money because they are well-connected when that money should be saving lives.”
Yesterday, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) wrote to the Attorney General and the FBI Director asking them to investigate the circumstances around the awarding of a $300 million contract to an obscure Montana firm with close ties to President Trump’s campaign for rebuilding the electrical grid in hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico. Today, Rep. Gutiérrez spoke on the House floor outlining why he feels the deal with Whitefish Energy appears to be “fishy.” “So what is going on here?” Rep. Gutiérrez said on the House floor. “A tiny company that does not have a track record gets one of the biggest contracts to help rebuild Puerto Rico in a no-bid, out of the ordinary contracting procedure?”
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October 24, 2017 Press Release
“People kept asking me, no matter where I went, they said, ‘Where is FEMA? Where is the help that we expect from the most powerful and richest nation on the earth in this moment of despair?’”
Fresh back from his second trip to Puerto Rico since Hurricane María hit in September, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor about what he saw in the towns of Comerío, Loíza, Toa Baja and Dorado. He told a stark story of an island that has not received the aid it needs and he brought visual aids. He held a package of paper towels, which he said were sent to his office after the President was seen in Puerto Rico throwing rolls of paper towels to hurricane survivors. He also brought three poster-sized blow ups of pictures he had taken in Loíza, Comerío and Toa Baja last week. “Having returned from my second trip to Puerto Rico since the hurricane, I can tell you one thing for sure: We need a lot more than paper towels from the President and this Congress,” Rep. Gutiérrez said.
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October 24, 2017 Press Release
“There is something very fishy about the Whitefish deal. I have been here 25 years and this doesn’t pass the smell test.”
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) is calling for an investigation into the news that Whitefish Energy Holdings, a small Montana firm with ties to key Trump Administration officials, was awarded a $300 million contract to construct Puerto Rico’s power grid. As the Daily Beast reported, the company is headed by a major Trump contributor who has close ties to Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Montana Congressman. “There is something very fishy about the Whitefish deal,” the Congressman said. “I have been here 25 years and this doesn’t pass the smell test. I am writing to the Justice Department and the FBI to ask them to investigate how this contract was awarded and why it went to this firm with no connection to Puerto Rico but plenty of connections to the Trump White House.”
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October 24, 2017 Press Release
“We are getting nothing that moves us closer to passing the DREAM Act or putting DACA recipients in a safe place and instead we are getting the same old recycled bills from the anti-immigration lobby’s wish list.”

Washington, DC – This morning, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement on today’s markup of two bills related to immigration in the Judiciary Committee.  One is an agricultural worker bill introduced by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the other is a mandatory E-Verify bill introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).  Rep.

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October 18, 2017 Press Release
Letter asks for refugee admission increase to 110,000 from 45,000 for Fiscal Year 2018 and expresses concern over reported program changes
Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Juan Vargas (CA-51), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) led a letter to President Donald Trump expressing disappointment in his decision to set the presidential determination for refugee admissions at 45,000 for Fiscal Year 2018. The letter urges the President to reconsider his determination and establish a minimum refugee admission level of 110,000 for Fiscal Year 2018. Additionally, the letter expresses concern about the reported changes to the resettlement process to require refugees to meet an assimilation standard. This letter was signed by 121 members of the House of Representatives.
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October 17, 2017 Press Release
“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.”
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.
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October 12, 2017 Press Release
“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.”
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."
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