June 28, 2017 Press Release
“[T]he question is not whether or not these bills will pass the House…but whether Democrats will be tempted to vote for tough-sounding measures because they are afraid to be labeled by conservative talk-radio hosts as weak on punishing the ‘Mexican murderers and rapists’ they think are lurking in American every alley.”
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor about the two immigration bills on the House floor this week (HR 3003 and HR 3004), saying despite this being Immigrant Heritage Month, “House Republicans have made this anti-immigration week in the Congress.” The vote on the bills to jail immigrants for longer periods of time and take money away from more than 600 cities and counties who do not enforce federal immigration laws in the way Republicans want them to comes as anti-immigration advocacy groups hold their annual talk-radio festival of live broadcasts from Washington, designed “to reinforce the anti-immigration fever that has gripped the Republican Party and allowed a tough-sounding game-show host to take over the party,” according to Rep. Gutiérrez.
June 22, 2017 Press Release
“I am here to warn my fellow Democrats not to believe the hype for one second.”
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor about the June 11 plebiscite in Puerto Rico where 97% of the voters supported statehood, but only 23% of the voters actually took the time to vote. The Congressman warned Democrats that “Those who are peddling the fantasy of statehood sometimes call themselves Democrats, but we should all beware of an elephant in donkey clothing.” The speech comes a few days after Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez embraced the Puerto Rican statehood agenda. The Congressman (sarcastically) conceded that the 97% result was “pretty impressive,” but said the results represent: "The kind of numbers that would make Vladimir Putin jealous and Saddam Hussein green with envy if he were not so dead. And the reason why the statehooders got 97 percent of the vote was pretty much the same reason as those guys too: Only one political party participated."
“Who can imagine America without the Irish today? As House Republicans vote today to pass bills to keep out the ‘wretched refuse of your teeming shore’… I hope all of us will reflect on those ancestors as we deliberate laws that would have kept many of them out.”
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor to take note of the hearing this morning in the House Judiciary Committee to pass Republican bills to slash refugee numbers and make it harder for asylum seekers to find safety in the U.S. This comes just one day after World Refugee Day, a day “to reflect upon those in crisis and dedicate ourselves to helping those we can help,” the Congressman said. Standing in front of a replica of the “Irish Need Not Apply” signs from the 19th century, Rep. Gutiérrez noted that the bills voted on in Committee today would have kept many of the Irish out. He said: "Roughly 32 million Americans trace their roots to Ireland, that’s about 10% of the U.S. population. And, let’s be clear, the British rulers over Ireland were not sending what they considered their best people. They were poor, they were uneducated, and U.S. politicians at the time said they were sending rapists and murderers and drunks – even if some, they assumed, were good people… But who can imagine America without the Irish today?"
June 16, 2017 Press Release
“I think they wanted to flavor the day with a little bitterness and spice it up by reminding immigrants they should live in fear.”
oday, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement in reaction to the announcement last night that the Trump Administration was officially revoking the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, a program to grant work permits and protection from deportation to the parents of U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents announced by President Obama in November 2014, which was blocked by Republican lawsuits and never implemented. Rep. Gutiérrez was a driving force behind DAPA and the similar program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), while President Obama was in office. The Congressman from Illinois participated in two press conferences yesterday marking the DACA program’s fifth “DACA-versary” – the same day the Trump Administration announced they were revoking DAPA.
June 13, 2017 Press Release
“Is it no longer the practice of the House of Representatives to hold oversight hearings?...I have never seen an Administration more in need of congressional oversight than this one, yet the Congress does not dare do anything that might cause the President to call someone out in one of his dawn Twitter rants.”
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor to reiterate his call for the Judiciary Committee to begin hearings or investigations into the Trump/Sessions/Russia matter. Former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony last week clearly indicates this is no longer a matter just for the Intelligence Committee, the Congressman said. But so far, there has been no action in the Judiciary Committee, which Gutiérrez said is working to “protect the President at all costs; shielding the President from tough questions.” The Congressman also noted that Trump allies have called on the President to fire former FBI Director Robert Mueller who currently heads the Department of Justice investigation, an action that Gutiérrez said would put the President “on a fast track to impeachment.”
June 9, 2017 Press Release
To Chairman Goodlatte: “I hope you will invite [President Trump] to testify in open session before the Judiciary Committee and give the Members of the Committee an opportunity to receive the President’s testimony.”
In a letter this afternoon, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) called on Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) to invite the President of the United States to testify before the Committee. Earlier today at a press conference, responding to a question related to fired FBI Director Comey’s testimony yesterday, President Trump offered to testify under oath. He said he was “100%” willing when he was asked if he would testify to investigators of Former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s investigation at the Department of Justice. But Rep. Gutiérrez, who, along with other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, has been calling on the Chairman to get the Committee started on its own examination of the unfolding scandal and potential obstruction of justice, called on the Chairman to convene the Committee and give Members an opportunity “to receive the President’s testimony.”
June 9, 2017 Press Release
Regardless of how carefully the Statehooders dress it up to look like a legitimate democratic process, the June 11 plebiscite is a farce.
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement in advance of Sunday’s vote in Puerto Rico that is ostensibly a plebiscite on the Island’s future status. "The supporters of statehood are selling a fantasy that a Latino, Caribbean nation will be admitted as a state during the era of Donald Trump; That states, many of which supported Trump, will accept a Spanish-speaking state that will receive just as many Senators and maybe even more House seats than they currently have; And all of this for an Island the U.S. has made deeply in debt with a sputtering economic engine that leaves Puerto Rico significantly poorer and more dependent than even our poorest states. I do not point out Puerto Rico’s problems to denigrate my fellow Puerto Ricans, simply to point out the reality that what is being peddled by the supporters of statehood is a fantasy...."
“From the Committee of jurisdiction that is supposed to be in charge and taking action, we have exactly nothing. Not a peep. Not a hearing or a subpoena. Nada, zip, nothing. Just crickets.”
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor today urging the Judiciary Committee in the House to get to work on investigations related to President Trump's and Attorney General Sessions' ties to Russia and efforts to derail investigations that are taking place in other committees of the House, in the Senate, and by former FBI Director Mueller at the Dept. of Justice. The House Judiciary Committee plays a special role in matters that could lead to impeachment of a sitting President, but so far has been silent. The Congressman, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said: “From the Committee of jurisdiction that is supposed to be in charge and taking action, we have exactly nothing. Not a peep. Not a hearing or a subpoena. Nada, zip, nothing. Just crickets.”
May 25, 2017 Press Release
Companion to Sen. Feinstein’s “Blue Card” bill would legalize farm workers
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) and 29 of his House Democratic colleagues introduced the Agricultural Worker Program Act (AWPA, H.R. 2690), a bill to legalize the immigration status of farm workers working in American agriculture. The bill would create a program that would allow agricultural workers and their families to apply for a “Blue Card” that gives them legal status and work authorization if they show consistent employment in U.S. agriculture over the past two years, pay a fine, and pass a thorough background check. A 3- to 5- year path to citizenship is provided to those who continue to work in agriculture for the requisite amount of time. The bill is the House companion to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill, S. 1034, introduced earlier this month, which currently has seven Senate co-sponsors.
May 24, 2017 Press Release
“The debate is focused exclusively on illegal immigration, not on consensus issues…We never get a chance to legislate broadening and strengthening legal immigration so that we reduce smuggling.”
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement reacting to Judiciary Committee passage of a bill the Democrats labeled the Trump Mass Deportation and Child Incarceration Act of 2017 (HR 2431). The bill, which recycles the worst and least effective deportation-only approaches of previous failed Republican bills like the SAFE Act and the Sensenbrenner Bill (HR 4437 of 2005-06), is designed to make House Republicans look tough and uncompromising in opposing immigration, but in reality would undermine the civil liberties of American citizens, undercut the rule of law, and undo improvements in immigration enforcement that have contributed to historically low levels of illegal immigration in recent years.