Here’s Why Representative Luis Gutierrez Will Not Be Seeking Re-Election To Congress

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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.

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.

“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.

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.

Best of luck in your future endeavors, Rep. Gutiérrez. Your voice will be missed in Congress.

READ: Rep. Gutiérrez Arrested At White House Rally On DACA Anniversary

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Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo Is Calling For Legislative Action To Protect DACA Recipients


Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo Is Calling For Legislative Action To Protect DACA Recipients

Molly Adams / Flickr / Bill Clark / Getty Images

Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo joined Democrats in demanding a resolution on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), stating that he won’t support government funding at the end of the year if a solution isn’t reached. The Congressman broke away from his party and proved he’s willing to shut down the government if a legislative fix for DACA isn’t handled in time for a vote on next year’s budget.

“I’m announcing today that I will not support any appropriations bill that funds the government beyond December 31 unless we get this DACA issue resolved,” Rep. Curbelo said at a IMPAC Fund panel at the University of Miami, according to CNN. The Immigration Partnership & Coalition (IMPAC) Fund is a business non-profit that fights for immigrant rights in Florida.

The new message from Rep. Curbelo is a change in rhetoric and action when it comes to his stance on immigration. Last summer, Rep. Curbelo’s own Political Action Committee (PAC), called What A Country PAC (WACPAC), donated to anti-immigration reform politicians, reports the Miami Herald. One of the politicians that received a donation from Rep. Curbelo’s PAC was Virginia Representative Barbara Comstock, who has made controversial statements regarding immigrants in the past.

“Immigration needs to be done by legislation, not executive order,” Comstock told MSNBC in 2014. “First and foremost, we need to stop playing politics with this, secure the borders and do it. We know how to do it.”

“Fed-Ex can track packages coming in here all of the time, we can track people who are coming into the country and we can do that right,” she added.

A growing number of politicians are banding together, threatening a government shutdown unless something is done to protect undocumented immigrants, particularly those who have been affected by the rescission of DACA. Next year’s budget appears to be the most powerful way of getting the legal legislative fix on immigration they have been demanding.

READ: This Congressman Was Denied Membership To The Congressional Hispanic Caucus And He Claims The Reason Is Discriminatory

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