Things That Matter

Rep. Gutierrez Went To ICE For Answers And When He Didn’t Get Them He Staged A Sit-In

Rep. Luis Gutierrez is not going down without a fight. The representative from Illinois’s 4th congressional district took a stand and tried to confront Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in their Chicago office on Monday. Gutierrez was seeking answers about the fate of Francisca Lino, a Chicago woman and mother of six who is currently facing deportation after 18 years in the U.S.

Gutierrez’s protest and arrest is the latest in a long line of anti-deportation demonstrations across the country started by the detention of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos in Arizona and sweeping raids that have left undocumented communities in fear.

Francisca Lino has lived in the U.S. for 18 years, has six children, and is married to a U.S. citizen. Last week, during a check-in with ICE, Lino was told she’d have to leave.


“ICE needs to be careful not to turn routine supervised-release visits into a high risk of detention,” Leon Fresco, former deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation, told CNN. “Or it will unwittingly create more fugitives who won’t show up to these visits.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez heard about Lino’s situation and immediately organized a meeting with ICE officials in Chicago.


The Washington Post described Rep. Gutierrez as a sort of “father figure” to Lino, who has been there with Lino for the past 15 years, as she attempted to clear up her immigration issues.

Rep. Gutierrez held a 5-hour sit-in after the original meeting didn’t culminate with the ending he was hoping for.


“Look, there’s a lie, and the lie keeps repeating,” Rep. Gutierrez told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “[The lie is that] they’re going after criminals, they’re going after the bad people in the immigrant community. The fact is, they’re going after DREAMers.”

DREAMers have been fearful of the Trump administration using their information from DACA renewals or enrollment against them. In New York City, Republican politicians filed a lawsuit to prevent Mayor Bill de Blasio from purging information that can be used for deportation from the IDNYC system. The information will now only be made available under a judge’s order.

Rep. Gutierrez and the immigration activists in the room refused to leave the building after being threatened with arrest. As Rep. Gutierrez’s Twitter caption states, officials arrested them then quickly released those detained.


Rep. Gutierrez told CNN that he asked the officers to arrest him because he was there for answers and would not be leaving.

Here’s a video of the arrest as it happened.

El congresista Luis Gutiérrez fue arrestado hoy en las oficinas regionales del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos (ICE) en Chicago.

Artemio Arreola, director de organización política de la Coalición de Illinois de Inmigrantes y Refugiados (ICIRR), mencionó que todos fueron detenidos por “desobediencia civil” e indicó que permanecían en el cuarto piso de las instalaciones de ICE.

“Luego nos amenazaron con llevarnos arrestados y les dijimos que estábamos dispuestos a ir a la cárcel por nuestros inmigrantes. Nos pusieron las esposas y a los minutos nos las quitaron, porque a ellos les gusta tratar con tiranía a los que ven vulnerables”, agregó el Congresista.

Posted by JP Dominguez on Monday, March 13, 2017

After the arrest, Rep. Gutierrez tweeted this photo with a caption that lets everyone know that he is not done fighting yet.


“They were scared to arrest us because they know our cause is just,” Rep. Gutierrez tweeted. “We ended our sit in but we will #resist.”

Watch Rep. Gutierrez talk to CNN about his arrest.


READ: Watch Congressman Luis Gutierrez Passionately Explain Why He’s Boycotting The Inauguration

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Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

Things That Matter

Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

Spencer Platt / Getty

Last night’s first presidential debate of the 2020 election gave us about as much optimism and assurance of safety as his past four years in office. Particularly because when it came to the moments when our current president was given a chance by moderator Chris Wallace to condemn white supremacists and “militia” groups while also demanding that they stand down as opposed to inciting violence, he refused.

Even if you’ve yet to watch Tuesday night’s debates, you’ve undoubtedly heard that throughout the night Donald Trump acted like a child who had never once been taught by a teacher to wait his turn to speak. Or, to simply answer a question. Shockingly, Trump stuck to this approach in one of the most critical aspects of the debates that could have gained him followers or at least assuaged Americans and their fears about his leadership and morality.

When it came to the moment when he was asked to condemn white nationalists and militia groups Trump pussyfooted around then gave a pretty damning response.

During last night’s debate when asked to denounce those groups, Trump gave non-committal answers.

When asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace asked if he was willing and ready to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and tell them to stand down during the current and ongoing demonstrations taking place across the country, Trump told one group to “stand back and stand by.”

What’s more, he asserted that violence at the protests was not being instigated by conservatives.

“Sure,” Trump responded. “I’m willing to [tell them to stand down] but I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

“Say it. Do it. Say it,” Biden urged Trump in response to his non commital answers.

“Who would you like me to condemn?” Trump shot back, turning his attention to Wallace. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

The Proud Boys are a far-right men-only organization that has been spotted at multiple 2020 Trump campaign rallies wearing black and yellow polo shirt uniforms.

The group promotes and often engages in political violence.

This is why Trump’s non-committal responses like “Sure” to requests from Wallace and Biden to condemn these groups are worrisome. Even more so why, when pressed by Wallace and Biden who pointed out repeatedly that “sure” is not the same as actually doing so was so troubling as well. Moreover, it’s important to note that Trump’s response to “I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing” is another “all lives matter” kind of way to denouncing white supremacist groups.

Of course this is not the first time the president has defended the actions of white supremacists.

In August, Trump refused to condemn the actions of his supporters in Portland, Oregon, and Wisconsin who used pepper spray to attack demonstrators. In the past, Trump has also defended Kyle Rittenhouse, a shooter who attempted homicide in Kenosha, Wisconsin at a BLM protest, saying that he had been “very violently attacked.”

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

Things That Matter

Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

On Sunday, The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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