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Rep. Luis Gutierrez
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During his eight terms in the U.S. House, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez has worked to establish himself as an effective legislator and energetic spokesman on behalf of his constituents in Illinois' Fourth District. At the same time, Gutierrez' tireless leadership championing the causes of the Latino and immigrant communities has led to greater responsibilities within the U.S. Congress and has earned him widespread acclaim throughout the country.

As the first Latino to be elected to Congress from the Midwest, Gutierrez sought opportunities to address long-standing needs facing the immigrant community in his diverse Congressional district, which is home to Chicago's large and established communities of immigrants from Eastern Europe as well Latin America. During his first term in office in 1992, he led the fight to increase citizenship education and English language proficiency programs for newly-arrived immigrants. In Chicago, he has held citizenship workshops offering comprehensive assistance to prospective citizens. His workshops have helped more than 40,000 people take the first steps toward citizenship.

On the national level, there has not been an elected official more committed or more passionate about protecting and advocating for our nation's immigrant community than Rep. Gutierrez.

From helping individuals take the first step toward citizenship, to beating back punitive anti-immigrant provisions on the House floor, to crafting historic, bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Rep. Gutierrez' efforts on the issue of immigration are in a class all their own.

Because of the Congressman's outstanding work on immigration issues, he was appointed Chair of the Democratic Caucus Immigration Task Force, where he is the party's leading strategist and spokesperson on immigration issues; and as the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force. In addition, Gutierrez was named to the Judiciary Committee in the 110th Congress where he has remained, serving on the Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law Subcommittee.

Gutierrez also chairs the powerful Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. The subcommittee oversees all financial regulators, which include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration.

As a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, Rep. Gutierrez has spearheaded efforts to bring more minorities into the banking system. He also has played a prominent role in cracking down on predatory lenders, including flagrant abuses in payday lending to the military, and he is leading efforts to make the costs of remittance services more transparent and to increase competition in the marketplace. An amendment offered by Congressman Gutierrez in the Financial Services Committee to cap the interest on payday loans made to military families and provide them with other basic protections against abusive lenders, was signed into law in 2006. Mr. Gutierrez is now seeking to extend those same protections to all Americans, not just the military and their families.

As a former member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Gutierrez increased funding for research for veterans, including tens of millions of dollars for prosthetics programs, and is a strong advocate for ensuring that Illinois veterans receive ample health benefits for their service; and he created a new program to help women veterans receive treatment for sexual abuse that occurred while they were in the military.

Mass transit issues have also played a prominent role in Gutierrez' agenda. He secured federal authorization for a $315 million project to reconstruct the aging Douglas Branch of the Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line, the "L" route which runs through the southwest side and suburbs in his district. He also introduced legislation offering tax credits to commuters who use public transit on a full-time basis. Gutierrez joined community and business leaders to implement creative ridership incentive programs and to press for the restoration of full service on the CTA.

Gutierrez was born in Chicago on December 10, 1953. He graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in 1977 with a degree in English and worked as a teacher, social worker, community activist and city official until his 1986 election as Alderman from the city's 26th ward. In the Chicago City Council, he led the fight for affordable housing, tougher ethics rules, and a law to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. He and his wife Soraida have two daughters, Omaira and Jessica and a grandson, Luisito.

Entries by Rep. Luis Gutierrez

Immigration: You Cannot Do Nothing

(110) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 9:06 AM

Before Congress left town in November, two teenagers interrupted Speaker John Boehner's breakfast. As he ate, they asked what he is doing to ensure that they and their families will not be deported. Then, the week of Thanksgiving, an undocumented student who has lived in the...

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House Republicans: What Happened? You Were Doing So Well

(1109) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 7:59 AM

For months, the anti-immigration policies and rhetoric that threatened the electoral viability of the Republican Party was in remission. From the moment Gov. Romney conceded defeat, sensible Republican leaders admitted they had botched the immigration issue and had appeared to many Americans to both oppose immigration and Latinos. Smart Republicans...

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Ten Reasons Young People Should Come Forward For Deferred Action

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 11:48 AM

On August 15, the first of perhaps a million or more people who qualify for the DREAM Act will begin stepping forward to apply and pay fees for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a form of temporary deportation relief for undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria. Each...

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New York Times: "There Is One Important Thing Mr. Obama Could Do Right Now..."

(106) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 3:11 PM

Today's New York Times editorial, "A Start on the Dream," eloquently makes a point I have been trying to make to the President of the United States since at least December 2010. Namely, that as Chief Executive, President Obama has extraordinary leeway under our current immigration laws to...

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The Stolen Dreams Act

(279) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 6:05 PM

Word is leaking from the Senate that Republicans, facing stiff and well-deserved opposition from most Hispanic voters, are crafting a bill similar to but not nearly as good as the DREAM Act, a bill to legalize the immigration status of young people who grew up in the United States but...

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Latino-Bashing GOP Seeks Puerto Rican Votes

(170) Comments | Posted March 16, 2012 | 12:59 PM

Seeing this crop of Republican presidential candidates pander for Latino votes is like watching some teenage boys learn to dance. It is awkward and embarrassing with plenty of missteps. And the last thing in the world they want is for one of their friends to see them do it. That...

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Are President Obama's Deportation Changes Real?

(139) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 8:22 AM

On Tuesday morning, I am going to see for myself. I'm flying to Charlotte, North Carolina, to attend the first hearing in the deportation case against Gabino Sanchez, a husband and father of two U.S. citizens who is facing deportation after more than a dozen years living and working peacefully...

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In the Debate on Immigration, Deportation Must Be Sensible

(369) Comments | Posted February 15, 2012 | 8:03 AM

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, in his Roll Call op-ed ("President Is Ignoring Immigration Laws," Feb. 6), argues that a policy of deporting serious criminals instead of parents, military families and students attending college is bad for the country. Once again the Republicans are on the...

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Immigration, Deportation and States' Rights: What Martha Taught Me

(281) Comments | Posted January 4, 2012 | 3:25 PM

A young mother in Alabama, 19, was driving down the street with her infant son when local police stopped her for failure to turn on her headlights. The officers discovered she had no driver's license and she was taken to the station.

That was on a Monday. Her son,...

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Colombia FTA: Blood Won't Easily Be Washed Away

(32) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 1:41 PM

When the Colombia Free Trade Agreement vote comes up in the House this Wednesday, I will ask my colleagues not to look to Columbia first when deciding to vote yes or no. I believe there are other places in the world, some far away, and some close to home, to...

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Why I Got Arrested for Protesting Obama's Deportation Policy

(183) Comments | Posted August 2, 2011 | 12:56 PM

[Note: This article originally appeared at The Guardian's Comment Is Free America with the headline "President Obama's lost pledge to Latinos," on August 1, 2011.]

On Tuesday, July 26, 2011, I was arrested in front of the White House, along with a dozen other...

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Mr. President: Yes You Can Stop Deporting DREAMers

(110) Comments | Posted June 13, 2011 | 12:31 PM

I am participating in a press conference today with Presente.org and several Puerto Rican leaders that coincides with the president's trip to Puerto Rico on Tuesday. The press conference will include Esmeralda, who has lived in Puerto Rico since she was nine years old and who graduated with...

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On the Puerto Rican People: 'You Will Not Silence Them and You Will Not Silence Me'

(34) Comments | Posted March 2, 2011 | 12:32 PM

The following is adapted from a speech by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, delivered this morning to the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Two weeks ago I spoke about a serious problem in Puerto Rico. The problem is a systemic effort by the ruling party...

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Make This a DREAM Act Christmas

(297) Comments | Posted December 17, 2010 | 10:21 AM

This holiday season in Congress, the Democrats have provided the Republicans with a gift-wrapped opportunity to change their tune on the immigration issue. By bringing the DREAM Act to the floor in both chambers, Democrats have offered up a most sympathetic and deserving cohort of young people for protection from...

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BP: Busy Promoting a Culture of Recklessness

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2010 | 2:16 PM

In just five short months, on April 20, 2011, we will commemorate the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and we will honor the 11 individuals who lost their lives that day. These 11 brothers, fathers, sons, and husbands died because BP's culture of recklessness, a corporate approach...

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All-In For The DREAM Act

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2010 | 6:43 PM

The following is a statement by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), who met with President Barack Obama today at the White House to discuss immigration reform and the lame-duck session of Congress.

When I met with the President today, I told him that we need him to join us in...

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Clyburn Will Stand by the Values, Policies That Make Us Democrats

(9) Comments | Posted November 10, 2010 | 9:58 AM

Democrats suffered devastating losses on Election Day. No way to sugarcoat it, no way to spin it. But choosing the leadership team for Democrats in the House is the first opportunity we have to chart a course back to the majority, so I want a campaign, I want a vote,...

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Reid's Victory Shows the Importance of Latino Voters and the Immigration Issue

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 3:28 PM

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) was reelected Tuesday to a tenth term in the U.S. Congress representing the Fourth District of Illinois in Chicago. In the 111th Congress, Rep. Gutierrez is Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus...

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Proud to Support the Rule of Law and Immigration, Too

(22) Comments | Posted October 28, 2010 | 4:19 PM

One of the reasons we have not made progress in reforming our immigration system is that one side of the debate thinks of itself as the law and order side and frames those of us who have proposed comprehensive immigration reform as opposed to the rule of law. That shuts...

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On Immigration, Are You a Lamar Smith-John Boehner-Steve King Republican?

(19) Comments | Posted October 22, 2010 | 12:18 PM

About a week ago, I announced that I would not run for Mayor of Chicago so that I could devote my full time and attention to my vocation: fighting for immigration reform in the U.S. Congress. My decision not to run was a difficult one. Being Mayor of...

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