October 11, 2017 Press Release
“Our response to Hurricane Maria and the people of Puerto Rico is a national and international embarrassment and tragedy.”
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor today and called for the evacuation from Puerto Rico of the sick, elderly and vulnerable who are at risk because the situation in Puerto Rico has not been stabilized after three weeks. The Congressman spoke Tuesday with Chicago firefighters who volunteered to go to Puerto Rico who report that things are “worse than we are being told.” Citing an article from the New York Times, he said the health care situation is dire and people are dying because of the lack of power, the lack of water, and the inability of clinics and hospitals to keep up with demand. The Congressman said: "Our response to Hurricane Maria and the people of Puerto Rico is a national and international embarrassment and tragedy. Our own citizens in our own Caribbean colonies of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and we have not helped them."
October 9, 2017 Press Release
“There is bipartisan support in Congress to get this done, and the votes are there. Those serious about solutions need to keep going and deliver what vast majority of Americans support. Now after a few weeks of delay, we know once again that it is up to Republican congressional leaders to decide if they are serious...”
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) released a statement reacting to the release on Sunday of the White House’s principles on immigration, a laundry list of recycled anti-immigration policies the Republicans demand in exchange for sparing 800,000 DACA recipients from deportation. These include funding for the President’s Great Border Wall, reducing legal immigration in half, and further barring or criminalizing immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. President Trump has acted to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that for five years has allowed young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to come forward, register, submit to a background check, and be allowed to work while designated as the lowest priority for deportation. Advocacy by Rep. Gutiérrez during the Obama Administration was instrumental in compelling the former President to act to protect immigrant youth (the so-called DREAMers) in 2012.
October 5, 2017 Press Release
“The CFPB is doing exactly what it was designed to do.”
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) released a statement in response to the news that the Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB) issued a new rule designed to protect consumers from the predatory practices of payday and car title lenders.
“Our fellow American citizens are facing unthinkable tragedies.” – Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09)
On Thursday, a group of Democratic House Members who represent substantial Puerto Rican constituencies in their districts held a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol to discuss what they are hearing from the Puerto Rican communities they represent. In particular, the Members said they are receiving pleas of help from constituents to get sick, elderly and vulnerable loved ones off of the island and to the mainland. At the press conference, they discussed the urgency with which aid is needed in Puerto Rico, but also the need to evacuate people and help them resettle on the mainland if they want to. In total, eight Members of Congress from five states spoke at the press conference and Rep. Darren Soto of Florida, who is one of the four Democrats of Puerto Rican heritage, was called away, but provided a statement for this press release.
October 4, 2017 Press Release
“They don’t need paper towels tossed to them like T-shirts at a sports arena. They need helicopters, bridges, cell towers and generators…I was frankly horrified by our President’s performance yesterday on the island.”
For the second day in a row, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor about what he saw while he was in Puerto Rico over the weekend and about the President’s trip to Puerto Rico yesterday. The President and First Lady met with officials and toured Guaynabo, a wealthy suburb of San Juan, and the President was also pictured distributing flashlights and paper towels to victims of Hurricane Maria. The President also remarked that Puerto Rico was throwing his budget “out of whack” and that the death toll, then 16, now officially 34, compares favorably to “a real catastrophe like Katrina” and therefore shows the President that the relief effort in Puerto Rico is going great. Rep. Gutiérrez does not agree with the President’s rosy assessment.
October 3, 2017 Press Release
“One thing I learned in Puerto Rico this weekend is that in Chicago and the rest of the U.S. we need to start thinking about evacuation in addition to rebuilding and recovery. I have welcomed family into my own home and people I know across the country are welcoming relatives escaping Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands…”
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor about what he saw while he was in Puerto Rico over the weekend, the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding, and the need for U.S. cities and towns to prepare to receive Puerto Rican evacuees. Yesterday in Chicago, Rep. Gutierrez and other Puerto Rican and city leaders met with the Mayor of Chicago and the Mayor made it clear at a press conference that Chicago would take steps to welcome Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Islander evacuees, in addition to aid that the city is sending. Rep. Gutiérrez used part of his speech to address the Puerto Rican people directly in Spanish, saying, “Oímos tus peticiones de ayuda, y la fuerza del gobierno estadounidense finalmente vienen a ayudar”. (“We hear your cries for help and the full strength of the American government is finally coming to help.”)
September 28, 2017 Press Release
"The Administration should exercise common sense and extend the DACA renewal deadline to January 5, 2018, as we requested in a September 21st letter to Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke."
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, joined Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairwoman Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) and CHC Immigration Task Force Chair Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04) to release the following statement in response to reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not extend the October 5th renewal deadline for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and is open to sharing DACA recipient data with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)...
September 28, 2017 Press Release
“Whatever it takes to rescue people, whatever it takes to airlift people to safety, to open hospitals and get them food and water, it has to happen right now.”
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) will fly to San Juan from Chicago early Friday morning and plans to return to Chicago on Sunday. He will both travel within the San Juan Metro area and go out of the city to see for himself the damage caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma and assess why relief is not flowing to the people of Puerto Rico quickly enough. “It has been more than a week and basic aid like food, water, medicine and fuel isn’t getting where it needs to be to help people,” Rep. Gutiérrez said. “We can’t allow inaction in Washington to create a humanitarian crisis for 3.4 million American citizens in Puerto Rico. I won’t sit back and watch TV as another crisis like Katrina in New Orleans unfolds. These are our people and they need our help right now.”
“Our military servicemen and women are the best in the world and their fellow citizens in Puerto Rico need their help desperately.”
On Wednesday, Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) wrote to Defense Secretary James Mattis to request an urgent meeting to discuss the crisis in Puerto Rico. The Island is still without power, food, fuel, water, and adequate medical supplies a week after Hurricane Maria. The United States military has aided natural disaster victims in the past – both on domestic soil and foreign soil. While some military resources have already deployed to the Puerto Rico operation, Crowley and Gutiérrez believe the Department of Defense (DOD) has the capability and capacity to do much more.
Legislation would help all U.S. islands receive necessary supplies following natural disasters
Today, U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Darren Soto (D-FL), Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), and José Serrano (D-NY), in response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, introduced the Humanitarian Disaster Relief Act of 2017 to permit waiving the Jones Act for humanitarian relief efforts. “What is more important, getting aid to people in need or policies to maintain profits for shipping companies?” said Rep. Gutiérrez. “Let the aid flow from wherever it is available to wherever it is needed most, without bureaucratic or man-made barriers.”