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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois


July 11, 2014
Press Release

“Among the children are little girls who are fleeing those who would abuse their bodies.  Sen. Kirk, open your heart.”


Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) reacted to a press release issued by Senator Mark Kirk stating that 429 Central American children apprehended at the border as unaccompanied children are in Chicago and that he is questioning whether any of these children “…has the potential to present a serious threat to our country and communities should they have criminal records….”.

The following is a statement by Rep. Luis Gutiérrez.  Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez represents the Fourth District of Illinois, is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and is the Chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

“Senator Kirk should be ashamed of himself.  These are children and he is trying to paint them as criminals and make Americans afraid of children.  That is shameful behavior.  Rather than exploiting and demonizing children to score political points, how about the Senator works with the President to solve a national problem.

“In March, Senator Kirk was standing with Illinois officials decrying trafficking, especially the sex trafficking of children ( and yesterday he was decrying human rights abuses in Iran ( ) and now he is pulling this stunt to question whether children are a threat?  It is hypocrisy, it is immoral, and it ought to stop.  Among the children are little girls who are fleeing those who would abuse their bodies.  Sen. Kirk, open your heart.”

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Note: Congressman Gutiérrez cannot confirm the claim from Sen. Kirk that 429 children fleeing violence in Central America have been relocated to Illinois.  Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services were unable to confirm the information as well for the Congressman, so it is unclear on what information this claim is being made. 

Also note: The Congressman spoke earlier today on the issue of unaccompanied children at the border at a press conference of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  His press release is here: