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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Rep. Gutiérrez Speaks About Taco Salads, Strawberries and GOP Leader's Visit To Congress

May 12, 2016
Press Release
Issues: 

“So, as we eat our taco salads today or have a sweet delicious strawberry, I hope my colleagues chew on the words and keep in mind the philosophy and values your leader is espousing…”

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Gutiérrez marked the much-heralded visit of the new Republican Party leader and presidential nominee to Capitol Hill by noting that the cafeterias on the Hill had apparently selected a special menu for the occasion: Taco Salads and Strawberries.  As we have learned from Twitter, eating a Taco Salad is a way for Republicans to show their love for The Hispanics -- and Strawberries are picked and packed almost exclusively by undocumented immigrants.  This is a little ironic given that the GOP now wants to deport or remove 11 million undocumented immigrants, most of them Latino, from the country.  The Congressman spoke during the Morning Hour on the Floor of the House of Representatives (approx. 10 am ET).

The Congressman said:

Any food you eat will have been touched by undocumented immigrant hands; immigrants that the Republican Party wants to remove from our country by the millions;  11 million people, their families, their businesses, their home-ownership, their consumer buying power, their U.S. citizen spouses and children, they have all got to go.

Just 18 months ago, the Congressman was chastised by the Chairman in a Rules Committee hearing for suggesting that Republicans might support mass deportation.  Now the Party is running on that platform behind the presumptive nominee.

Now the standard bearer, the leader, the nominee, El Jefe Anaranjado (Orange Chief), who is leading the Party into the November election, is calling for the mass deportation or removal of 11 million people.  In detail.  Out loud.

Rep. Gutiérrez said that all of the attention focused by Republicans on undocumented immigrants might be misguided later this year. 

Sure, as you chomp on your Taco Salad, Mr. Speaker, you could concentrate on the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants who are the daily targets of lies and slander on the campaign trail. But come November, the Latinos you will really have to worry about are the more than 27 million Latino citizens like me who are your constituents, who are eligible to vote, and are fired up to vote more and more with each passing day.

The text of the speech (as prepared for delivery) is below.

A video of his speech is here: https://youtu.be/wIEeWZn9znI

Rep. Gutiérrez represents the Fourth District of Illinois, is a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and is the Co-Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Floor Remarks

May 12, 2016

We understand that the Speaker of the House is receiving a special visitor today.

The heavyweight, undisputed champion and leader of the Republican Party, the person who speaks for every single House Republican, the Presidential nominee of the Republican Party.

And just so we are clear on how important this visit is, I hold in my hand the actual menu from the cafeteria today.

This is the menu from the Senate Carry Out, and today’s special is…wait for it…taco salad!

They even have little pictures, see?

You cannot make this stuff up.

The Republicans love The Hispanics soooooo much that they put taco salads on the menu so that we can honor the love and affection that their presidential nominee feels for each and every one of us, The Hispanics.

And I am sure that love and respect extends to all the working men and women in our cafeterias, not just the ones who are part of The Hispanics, but the other working men and women who are part of The Blacks, or The Asians, or The Whites

They work hard every single day in the cafeterias of the Capitol and the surrounding buildings and – this is not something to be proud of --  but the reality on Capitol Hill is that they do not even make a living wage.

Oh and look, it says here on the bottom, May is Strawberry Festival Month at the cafeterias. 

Now, let’s see if we can guess who picks the strawberries that will be served in the cafeterias, shall we, Mr. Speaker? 

I will venture to guess that every single strawberry that is served on yoghurt or a piece of pound cake to Members of Congress will have passed through the rough hands of an undocumented immigrant.

Whether it was growing them, picking them, packing them, shipping them, unloading them, or some other part of the process, Strawberry Festival Month really means undocumented farmworker month. 

We are all complicit. 

Any food you eat will have been touched by undocumented immigrant hands.

Immigrants that the Republican Party wants to remove from our country by the millions;  11 million people, their families, their businesses, their home-ownership, their consumer buying power, their U.S. citizen spouses and children, they have all got to go.

Now, it was less than two years ago, upstairs in this building that the respected Chairman of the House Rules Committee said to me in a Committee hearing that he was unaware of anyone in the Republican Party –he said “there is no one in responsible Republican leadership” – who would suggest or support mass deportation. 

He said it was “inflammatory” for me to suggest otherwise, just 18 months ago.  He said it was “extremely distasteful” of anyone to suggest Republicans would favor driving out 11 million immigrants. 

Now the standard bearer, the leader, the nominee, El Jefe Anaranjado (Orange Chief), who is leading the Party into the November election is calling for the mass deportation or removal of 11 million people.  In detail.  Out loud.

So, as we eat our taco salads today or have a sweet delicious strawberry, I hope my colleagues chew on the words and keep in mind the philosophy and values your leader is espousing on the campaign trail on your behalf, the de facto head of the Republican Party.

Just taste the immigrant labor, the hands of Mexicans and a lot of other people with and without papers that went into every morsel of food you taste today.

And I also want you to think about the nearly one million American-born Latino citizens who have turned 18 in the last year and the half-a-million more who will turn 18 before November.

Think about the 82,000 Puerto Ricans who have left the Island most of them moving to Florida – and tens of thousands still to come – who will be voting.

And as you eat your last strawberry, please, please, please, Mr. Speaker, I hope you will think about the 25% increase we have seen in the first quarter of 2016 in citizenship applications, the 8.8 million eligible immigrants who can apply for citizenship today, and the thousands more who will be eligible this year.

Sure, as you chomp on your Taco Salad, Mr. Speaker, you could concentrate on the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants who are the daily targets of lies and slander on the campaign trail.  But come November, the Latinos you will really have to worry about are the more than 27 million Latino citizens like me who are your constituents, who are eligible to vote, and are fired up to vote more and more with each passing day.

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