Former Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) over the weekend urged Democrats across the country to open their hearts and cities to migrants after President Donald Trump suggested that he would send migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border to sanctuary cities.
“Now, you say what are Democrats doing? I think Democrats should be opening their hearts, opening their cities, and they should be opening themselves up to saying yes,” Gutierrez said on CNN.
He said the “silence is deafening” from people like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who Gutierrez said “likes to pat himself on the back as being the great immigrant advocate” who fights with the mayors of New York and Los Angeles over who is the greatest “immigrant advocate.”
“Well, guess what mayors? It’s your turn to step up,” Gutierrez said. “You have advocates of immigrants who have been touting themselves as advocates of immigrants and they should step up. We stepped up for our Muslim community. We stepped up for our gay community. We stepped up for women. We should step up for immigrants fleeing violence and death.”
Gutierrez vowed to “legal asylum seekers” that he was “not going to let Donald Trump change the very institution and fabric of what has made America the great country that it is.”
“We have a great tradition in this country, as we accepted immigrants from Italy and Poland and Russia and refugees from all over the world in our great cities,’ Gutierrez said, adding that Americans accepted Jews and Muslims who were seeking refuge. “We can do it again… Should be no different for Latinos that are coming from Guatemala and El Salvador.”
Gutierrez, who is now a senior policy adviser for the National Partnership of New Americans (NPNA) after being arguably the top amnesty advocate in Congress, previously called on Democrats in major cities to open “welcoming centers all across America” for migrants.
“And I would say to the mayor of my own city, Rahm Emanuel, instead of hitting yourself on the chest every day about Jussie Smollett, invite them to come to Chicago,” Gutierrez previously said. “L.A.—invite them to come. New York. There should be welcoming centers all across America for these refugees, for these asylum seekers to find a home in America. That’s what I believe people should be doing right now.”