Luis Gutiérrez is leaving Congress but staying in the fight for immigrant rights.
Representative Luis Gutiérrez announced Tuesday that he would not be running for re-election after serving the 4th Congressional district of Illinois for more than 20 years. Instead, Rep. Gutiérrez has promised that he will move to the private sector to build a “new, fierce framework for immigrant rights.” The Illinois politician also announced his longing to help Puerto Rico, the birthplace of his parents and wife, to rebuild.
“I love Puerto Rico and she’s in a lot of pain,” Rep. Gutiérrez said through tears. “There’s a lot of people who turned their backs on her and she needs to be rebuilt. I cannot be here in the 4th Congressional district and rebuilding the home of my mom and my dad, where my wife was born; a place that I love so much. I’m going to work really hard until she is completely rebuilt to 21st century standards.”
Rep. Gutiérrez did turn things to a lighter note when he addressed questions about his sudden departure. Rather than waiting until he was an old man on a respirator, Rep. Gutiérrez told reporters that he is happy to leave standing with his beautiful wife and daughter by his side. Gutiérrez has since endorsed Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” Garcia to succeed him. Rep. Gutiérrez is expected to finish out his term, which ends in 2019.
People are saddened by the news because his voice had been so powerful.
America will be reduced by your absence, sir. Please come back soon when beautiful Puerto Rico is rebuilt. 🕊🙄🕊
— Emelia (@trot_emelia) November 29, 2017
Rep. Gutiérrez took to the floor of the House several times over the years to address the concerns of his constituents and the Latino community. He has been a vocal proponent of just immigrant rights and has recently been the most vocal politician fighting for Puerto Rico hurricane relief.
Gutiérrez is receiving thanks and appreciation for all the work he has done during his time in office.
My respects for all you have done and all you will!! Especially, thank you for your love for our beloved Puerto Rico.
— Maria Teresa Alicea (@mtalicea) November 29, 2017
“Congressman Luis Gutiérrez has fought tirelessly to uphold our deepest held values and been an ardent defender of immigrants, the Puerto Rican community, and hard-working Americans across this nation,” Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lejan Grisham said in an email statement. “To the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressman Gutiérrez’s example and enduring legacy of principled leadership will continue to guide generations of leaders. During his career, he courageously and boldly traveled to every corner of our country to give hope to all those who believed in the promise of America. It is for that reason that Congressman Gutiérrez’s impact should not be measured in words, but rather in the number of lives he’s changed for the better.”
His work has impacted the lives of so many people outside of his constituency.
I'm not a constituent but will miss your input as a member of Congress.
— dag (@DoggyKittyRescu) November 29, 2017
He has been arrested numerous times fighting for the rights of DACA recipients and immigrant rights.
His work has made others long for more politicians like him.
You are doing the right thing. Following your heart and helping where it’s needed most. Wish there were more like you in our government.
— peacelovedogs (@Heather86974312) November 29, 2017
Best of luck in your future endeavors, Rep. Gutiérrez. Your voice will be missed in Congress.