Here is what Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D–IL) said Thursday on the floor of the House of Representatives:
Here are the remarks prepared by Gutiérrez’s office that was shared with media:
I do not want to hear another Republican Member of Congress come to this microphone to speak about family values ever again. I don’t want to hear about protecting families or honoring families or putting families first because each and every time a Republican invokes family values on this floor, it will be a lie.
And a cruel lie at that.
If you want to run on the President’s record to keep your job so you can feed your family, part of the price is that you have zero credibility when it comes to family values from now until forever.
Along the Southern border, hundreds of children have been taken from their parents and hundreds have been held in border stations without sleeping rooms or adequate bedding for several days in violation of federal laws to safeguard children.
We are told the number of children in the care of the agency we put in charge is now above 11,000, but we do not know for sure because the government, our government, your government, is not telling us what is really going on and an oversight hearing with the Secretary of Homeland Security scheduled for today in the Judiciary Committee was cancelled.
Hundreds of children in the care of border patrol, most of them under the age of 12, and 11,000 total in the system.
The White House thinks Latinos are not really human beings so we can treat them however we want and it doesn’t matter, after all, it’s not like they are coming from Norway.
The President and Attorney General say they are “illegals,” which is also a lie and they know it. People fleeing violence and systematic rape and murder can come to the U.S. and ask us for political asylum and it is 100% legal under the laws of the United States.
Every one of us knows that taking a child from a mother is morally wrong except in the most extreme cases.
In this country’s history, we sold millions of Black children because they were considered property during slavery and we stole Native American children from their families to strip them of their culture because we labeled them as savages. Most people think these are among the most shameful chapters in American history.
But we all know how the President feels about Latino children. He says they are “not so innocent,” so I guess he thinks they are programmed to turn into the people he calls animals and rapists because of where they were born.
According to the White House Chief of Staff, the children at the border will “be put in foster care or whatever.”
And the Attorney General says he believes the children will be well taken care of “for the most part.”
Forgive me if I do not put much stock in national leaders whose concern for children includes the terms “or whatever” and “for the most part.”
So, Republicans, please do not ever come to this floor and claim that your party supports families and defends children. You have lost all of your family values privileges.
This afternoon, I will meet families that were broken up because the meatpacking plant where the parents work was raided in April by ICE and Tennessee State Troopers.
Please tell them about your family values.
We don’t provide legal ways for their parents to come here because Republicans oppose legal immigration, but employers need workers and those parents are under constant threat of arrest, deportation, and never seeing their children again.
The owners of the plant that employed them? As far as we know, nothing has happened to them and they are probably going to enjoy dinner with their families tonight.
Last week in Chicago and this week in Ohio, a few hundred more working people were rounded up and their children, most of whom are U.S. citizens, are left without their parents. In Pennsylvania, it was restaurant workers; in Iowa it was a concrete plant.
Tearing apart Latino families is an election year strategy of this White House designed to energize Republican voters for primaries and midterms this year to re-elect Republican Members of the House and Senate.
And let’s not forget that while almost 5,000 Puerto Ricans were dying —and still are dying— your President was giving himself an A-plus and saying there had been no real catastrophe, all while families were telling us of the loved ones they were losing because they didn’t have electricity or medicine.
So to my Republican colleagues, some of whom I love dearly, please don’t you ever come to the well of this House and tell the country that you support family values. Don’t you dare.
Your time talking about family values is over.