Representative Luis Gutierrez doesn't just talk the talk. When push comes to shove, he stands up for Latinos and what he believes in.
That's just what he proved on Monday when Francisc Lino asked him for help after being threatened with deportation by Immigration and Custom Enforcement and knowing that would mean she'd have to return to her home in Mexico.
The mother-of-six first came to the U.S. in 1999, and applied for legal residency in 2001, with her husband as her sponsor. Four years later, during a hearing for the application (on which she did not hide her first deportation), Lino got jailed for 21 days. In 2008, she was able to get a deportation summos, but she fought to stay for her family's well-being. Under President Obama's administration, Lino was able to check in yearly with ICE yet still remain in the states. Now, under Trump's administration, the mother must return to the federal building in July for deportation, Remezcla notes.
During the sit-in on Monday, Rep. Gutierrez was asked to leave several times, but stayed to advocate for Lino and for the millions of other immigrants being threatened with deportation. The representative was cuffed, and explained his reasoning for fighting. “Look, there’s a lie, and the lie keeps repeating,” he said. “[ICE says] they’re going after criminals, they’re going after the bad people in the immigrant community. The fact is, they’re going after DREAMers. Somebody has to stand up for them … they are under threat. When you see unfairness and unjustness … it’s part of what being an American is, is to stand up.”
Gutierrez wasn't able to secure anything for Lino for the time being, but he will likely continue to fight for the family. “I feel very sad because I might have to leave,” Lino said. “But I’ll leave with my children. I’m not going to leave them behind.”