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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Gutiérrez Delivers Fiery Speech Denouncing GOP Anti-Immigration Resolution

March 17, 2016
Press Release

“The debate has sunk to a level where people are actually throwing punches and worse…now, Republicans in the House are stoking anti-immigrant fears and mass deportation fantasies some more.”

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke during debate on a partisan vote in support of mass deportation and a resolution to authorize a “Friend of the Court” brief against the United States in a case on immigration to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court next month.  It was a remarkably fiery address.

A video of the Congressman’s speech is here:

The Congressman’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are pasted below (but his actual remarks diverge significantly at times).

Immigration Remarks

As Prepared for Delivery

Why does the Majority Party not just say what they want?  They want millions of immigrants deported.

Out on the campaign trail on immigration we get lies and demagoguery from Republicans – plural. 

The debate has sunk to a level where people are actually throwing punches and worse.

Two refugees from Southeast Asia and one gentleman from Puerto Rico were shot and killed in front of their children in Milwaukee because apparently, the gunman didn’t like that they spoke with an accent. 

The gunman reportedly said to the Puerto Ricans “You have got to go,” before he shot and killed the father of a teenaged son.

Two students, a Muslim and a Latino, were attacked by a man who they encountered when he was beating an African-American man in Kansas this week.  When he turned to them he shouted racist threats and said Trump would win and they would have to go.

And the punches, the shoving, the shouts of “Go back to Africa,” the Hitler salutes -- it is all becoming more than we ever expected and yet, that is the reality we see in 2016.

And now, the Republicans in the House are stoking anti-immigrant fears and mass deportation fantasies some more. 

No, they are not leading. They are not calling for calmer rhetoric – let alone more rational policies. 

They are playing politics with immigrants, plain and simple.

If Republicans are so secure in the validity of their arguments, they should write the brief and submit it to the Supreme Court, just as 225 Democrats did last week. And as dozens of business leaders and state and local legislators and Mayors have done.

The vote is a political stunt disguised as a legal brief because the Republican Majority sees a crass political opportunity to stand with the anti-immigration wing of their party.

I guess the Speaker thinks, hey, why play it straight when you can force a purely political vote on immigration designed to deepen the partisan lines and validate angry voters.

Rep. Gutiérrez represents the Fourth District of Illinois, is a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is a Member of the House Judiciary Committee and is the Co-Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  An op-ed related to immigration and the Supreme Court ran in the Boston Globe on Feb. 25: GOP politics of exclusion all but guarantee a Democratic decade.

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