Gutiérrez slams immigration remarks from 'explicitly racist' president

Gutiérrez slams immigration remarks from 'explicitly racist' president

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE’s State of the Union in a statement Tuesday, hitting Trump for failing to bring together lawmakers on a bipartisan immigration plan and blasting him for not apologizing for his handling of the crisis in Puerto Rico.

He concluded his statement by saying, “I was hoping to get through my life without having to witness an outwardly, explicitly racist American President, but my luck ran out.”

Gutiérrez, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, said Trump's agenda is “to gut legal immigration in exchange for allowing some of the Dreamers to live here.”

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“For those of us who support legal immigration, and that’s most Democrats and many Republicans, it won’t fly,” he said. “The speech did nothing to bring the pro- and anti-immigrant sides closer together.”

In his address, Trump called on Congress to pass a bipartisan immigration bill that would include a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and slash legal immigration, as well as provide a path to citizenship for nearly 2 million people who entered the United States illegally as children, known as "Dreamers."

Trump cast his plan as helping immigrant families and U.S. workers.

“Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families,” he said.

But Trump's remarks received audible boos and hisses from some Democrats at one point during the speech as he called for reform of the family reunification visa program, which he and some Republicans refer to as “chain migration.” 

Gutiérrez also criticized Trump for not saying more about Puerto Rico, which was hit by a devastating hurricane last year. Democrats have criticized the Trump administration's response to the crisis.

The Illinois Democrat said he hoped for “some sort of apology on Puerto Rico” from Trump during the speech, but “heard nothing.”

“Puerto Rico is a metaphor for how this President sees all Latinos and people of color: he does not see us as his equals and he does not see us as fellow human beings,” he said. “If you look at how the President has treated Puerto Rico, you have to conclude that he just doesn’t care and probably thinks of Puerto Rico as just another shithole country.”