Luis Gutierrez Quotes

  1. Ending the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program was a serious mistake that will harm the United States and will spark a national political crisis.
  2. The pro-life, pro-family Republicans are now pro-neonatal detention and deportation. It isn’t enough to drive out the people not born here; now they want to drive out the ones that were.
  3. We should encourage people who have lived here peacefully for years to earn legal status over time.
  4. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been clear that deporting young people who have lived in the U.S. for years and were brought here through no fault of their own as children should not be the targets of deportation.
  5. Let me respond with a few points, the first being that all immigrants pay taxes, income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, cigarette taxes, every tax when they make a purchase.
  6. I understand the frustration provoked by our broken immigration system. But 50 state immigration policies are just a recipe for more chaos.
  7. Because the truth is, today’s immigrants, as they have for generation after generation, work the longest hours at the hardest jobs for the lowest pay, jobs that are just about impossible to fill.
  8. Legal immigrants have been an engine of economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship on this continent for longer than we have been a nation.
  9. We must stand on principle and practicality, and we should be very clear that a policy aimed at driving out 10 or 11 million people is not a good one.
  10. DACA is a lifeline for individuals who have grown up in the U.S. but who lack immigration papers.
  11. We need the federal government to assert their supremacy over the immigration issue and make it clear to state legislatures, cowboy cops, and the American people that the federal government is in charge and effectively enforcing and regulating immigration.
  12. The American people overwhelmingly want to see smart policy that secures our families, our borders, and our economy.
  13. In my experience, young people fighting for the passage of the DREAM Act and to prevent the deportation of those who are eligible are among the most committed and fearless advocates for change in this country.
  14. We are saying that when our nation targets law enforcement efforts at someone’s appearance or what neighborhood they live in or what job they do, it is not living up to our nation’s basic ideals.
  15. While jobs, education, and healthcare rank among the top issues for Latino voters, immigration is a threshold issue.
  16. I am a senior Democratic Member of Congress whose parents were born in Puerto Rico and for whom Puerto Rico self-determination has been – and remains – a central issue of my congressional career.
  17. I was the first Latino member of Congress to support Senator Obama’s candidacy. For quite a while, I was the only one.
  18. Obama the President needs to stand up for what Obama the candidate and what Obama the Senator and what Obama the Chicago community organizer stood for and lead the Congress towards reform.
  19. Mr. Speaker, Americans want, need, and rightfully expect Congress to protect them from the prying eyes of identity thieves and give them back control of their Social Security numbers and personal health information.
  20. I am a strong supporter of President Obama and was the first national Hispanic elected official to endorse him, and I want him to be reelected in 2012.
  21. It is not new or unusual for the real Americans, meaning those immigrants who came to America a little bit longer ago, to fear the outsiders, the pretenders, the newcomers.
  22. If you are brown, black, Asian, or anything other than an English-speaking, highly-trained technician, the Republican Party doesn’t want you here.
  23. The American people are much more practical than Republican lawmakers on equal pay, on the minimum wage, on same-sex marriage, and on basic civil rights.
  24. As a Democrat from Illinois, as a member of Congress who believes in and admires President Obama, it genuinely pains me to say that the facts show that this president has done no more to solve our immigration crisis than George W. Bush.
  25. The Democrats cannot say that we stand with immigrants if that secretly means we only stand with immigrants in odd-numbered years or when southern Democrats complain.
  26. If immigration reform is bad for America’s workers, then why does virtually every group that represents American workers support it so enthusiastically?
  27. The issue of immigration is one of the most complex and politically difficult issues because there is so much passion on all sides.
  28. The immigrant blame game is constant. Cynical politicians believe it drives poll numbers; cynical commentators believe it drives TV ratings.
  29. Appeasing Wall Street is to be expected from the GOP who do little to hide their true intentions and their defense of the wealthiest financial institutions and interests.
  30. We need legal immigration as an alternative to illegal immigration and a way of getting the millions of unauthorized immigrants already here to get legal and get in compliance with our laws.
  31. In the public debate, while commentators and critics have targeted immigrants with blame and bullying, our nation’s immigrants have simply kept on working, kept on contributing, and kept on hoping for a solution.
  32. Are we going to go out and arrest and detain and deport 11 million people? Nobody would argue that that is what we are going to do, because we have never demonstrated the political will to do that, nor have we ever committed the requisite resources to do that.
  33. U.S. v. Arizona is a landmark case not just because of the constitutional issues related to who regulates and enforces immigration, but because of its civil rights implications, too.
  34. The underlying part of any comprehensive immigration bill is family unit.
  35. We should be clear that we prefer a system that allows people to come to the U.S. with visas, not in the hands of smugglers.
  36. I remember clearly the afternoon I sat down with Obama. In December 2006, he was preparing for a family trip, and the decision to run weighed heavily on his mind. As a progressive member of Congress from Illinois, I was excited and energized by the prospect of my senator, and my friend, running for president.
  37. Lots of special interests play the immigrant blame game every day because they like things the way they are and don’t see a need for change.
  38. We watched the U.S. citizenship immigration services web site in March. They had six million, two hundred thousand hits, and two million people downloaded applications for citizenship. So what we’re doing is attempting to help people in that process.
  39. We believe that the way you dress and the shoes you wear are not probable cause for questioning or arrest.
  40. Too many people fought too hard to make sure all citizens of all colors, races, ethnicities, genders, and abilities can vote to think that not voting somehow sends a message.
  41. BP should be Banned Permanently because they are too failed to be big.
  42. We need to build bridges between the LGBT community and the larger immigrant community. In the end, the bigger the tent we build, the more successful we’ll be.
  43. If I saw someone in need and I did nothing, I’d be defacing my own humanity.
  44. I was arrested twice in demonstrations in front of the Obama White House in the push for DACA.
  45. If you are opposed to immigration or support strictly punitive immigration measures, you cannot even start a conversation about other issues with most Latino voters.
  46. I have never pretended to be a legal scholar, but when scores of lawyers are lining up to agree with the Supreme Court that the president has the power to make choices when it comes to whom to deport and whom to let stay, then I tend to agree with them.
  47. Uncertainty and fear and ignorance about immigrants, about people who are different, has a history as old as our Nation.
  48. Republicans will criticize whatever President Obama does because that is what they do.
  49. Immigration policy should be set and enforced federally.
  50. According to the study, approximately 16.7 million U.S. workers born in Latin America had a combined gross income of $450 billion last year, of which 93 percent was spent locally.
  51. Senator Obama and I had been on the same side of many fights, and we had worked together on the issue that is most urgent to me – comprehensive immigration reform.
  52. The immigrant blame game is one of the most predictable, and most deplorable, elements of public debate in our nation.
  53. Punishing individual immigrants who are deeply embedded in American communities is not the mandate Trump was given when he was elected.
  54. In the immigration debate, some things are constant. They never change. One is that opponents of immigration reform will use it as a wedge issue and will blame everything from unemployment to rising health care costs on immigrants.
  55. We need to decouple the movement for comprehensive immigration reform and justice for immigrants from the legislative process and from the Democratic Party process. They are too linked.
  56. We cannot be a pro-immigrant party only when it is convenient.
  57. Mr. Speaker, our Nation depends on immigrants’ labor, and I hope we can create an immigration system as dependable as they are.
  58. According to the Privacy Rights Center, up to 10 million Americans are victims of ID theft each year. They have a right to be notified when their most sensitive health data is stolen.
  59. We should allow DREAMers to declare that they are not criminals, that they want to be here, want to fully participate in their society and get on the books. We should make college, work, and military service available to them.
  60. The initials BP used to stand for British Petroleum, but like Kentucky Fried Chicken, they changed their name to improve their image. Apparently, ‘Petroleum,’ like the word ‘Fried,’ connoted a company too oily for American tastes.
  61. And let us not forget the Social Security system. Recent studies show that undocumented workers sustain the Social Security system with a subsidy as much as $7 billion a year. Let me repeat that: $7 billion a year.
  62. Democrats and Republicans agree on most of a unified, politically viable, and workable immigration reform package. Both parties agree that border security is a key part of any strategy.
  63. And they do those jobs not because they want to take away anything from America, but because they want to give their skills, their sweat, their labor, for a better life and to help build a better America, just as those who came before them.
  64. As far as income tax payments go, sources vary in their accounts, but a range of studies find that immigrants pay between $90 billion and $140 billion in Federal, State, and local taxes.
  65. On Tuesday 26 July 2011, I was arrested in front of the White House along with a dozen other pro-immigrant advocates and clergy. We sat down on the sidewalk in front of the White House with a banner that read ‘One Million Deported Under President Obama’ and refused to move when the police ordered us to.

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