Democratic congressman Luis Gutiérrez, one of the most combative Hispanic politicians in the defense of immigrants, evaluates competing for the Democratic presidential nomination for the 2020 elections, a source close to the legislator told Efe today.
Gutiérrez announced on Tuesday that, in 2019, he will leave the seat he has held for more than two decades in the House of Representatives with the aim of undertaking a tour throughout the United States to mobilize the Latino community and prevent the current president, Donald Trump, get re-elected.
“He is looking for strategies to mobilize voters and stand for election in 2020 is an option,” said the source familiar with the congressman’s thought, who requested anonymity.
According to that source, Gutierrez, of Puerto Rican origin, feels that the Donald Trump government is endangering all the issues for which he has been working as a legislator, from an immigration reform to an equal rights for the inhabitants of Puerto Rico, State Free Associated of the USA.
Gutierrez recently traveled to the island and made some of the toughest requests to the Trump government to increase aid to Puerto Rico, hit in September by Hurricane Maria.
Therefore, Gutierrez has decided to start a tour of the country to mobilize progressive voters, the Latino community and pressure on his own party not to “take for granted” Hispanic voters, said the source said.
On Tuesday, at the press conference in which he announced that he was leaving Congress, Gutiérrez already announced that he will travel to different states such as Michigan, California, Florida and Colorado to build a “party structure” that guarantees that Democrats are prepared to win. in 2020.
One of the fundamental points that Gutiérrez seeks to promote is the acquisition of US citizenship by millions of Hispanics who have that option, but for different reasons they have not done so far and, as a result, they have no right to vote in elections .
“There are enough people that we can make citizens in the state of Wisconsin that we could turn the state around, we could do the same with Michigan,” Gutierrez said.
In the 2016 elections, Trump snatched the Democrats Wisconsin and Michigan, states that ended up in the hands of former President Barack Obama in 2012 and 2008.
Gutiérrez also made reference on Tuesday to the emigration of thousands of Puerto Ricans to Florida, one of the key states due to his great electoral weight and who, in 2016, voted for Trump.
“I suspect that there will be some 250,000 more Puerto Ricans in the state of Florida in the next elections,” said the legislator, who warned that it will be “some time in Florida.”
The Chicago Sun-Times, one of the first to speak of the possibility of Gutiérrez competing for the Democratic presidential nomination, compared the legislator with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, icon for the defense of the civil rights of African-Americans.
Jackson competed unsuccessfully in 1984 and in 1988 for the Democratic presidential nomination and managed to get black voters to gain weight within that party.
According to the newspaper, an eventual Gutiérrez campaign could serve to bring large numbers of Hispanics to the Democratic national convention, where the presidential candidate is chosen, so that the immigrant cause is the new backbone of the formation.
Gutiérrez, 63, has been one of the main promoters of immigration reform in Congress and has stood out for vehemently defending the rights of immigrants, to the point of being described as the “Moses of Latinos.”
For years, the congressman has participated in demonstrations on the side of immigrants and has been arrested on several occasions for acts of civil disobedience.
Gutiérrez was one of the figures that most pressured Obama to approve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, which allowed 800,000 undocumented youth to stop their deportation, obtain a work permit and a license to work. drive.
Trump announced on September 5 the end of DACA, but asked Congress to clarify the situation of young people, known as “dreamers”, before March 5, 2018.
Now, Gutiérrez is insisting his party to condition the approval of a new raise of the debt ceiling to a legislative solution for the “dreamers”.