By Mark Hensch
October 27, 2015
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said Tuesday that GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump has outdated views on race relations.
“Trump wants to take us back to the good old days of race relations — which apparently means the 1950s — when President Eisenhower evicted millions of immigrants and U.S. citizens from the United States,” he said on the House floor.
Gutiérrez, one of the staunchest advocates in Congress for immigration reform, said Trump’s rhetoric is inspiring action among young Hispanic voters.
“Donald Trump is spurring youth voter mobilization like I have never seen,” he said, citing his recent visit to six high schools in his district and meetings with approximately 2,000 total students.
“Almost all of the students I meet are U.S. citizens, the majority are Latinos, some have immigrant parents and most will soon be eligible to vote,” Gutiérrez said.
“Nationally, we know that 93 percent of Latinos under age 18 are citizens and that every 30 seconds a Latino citizen turns 18,” he added. “That’s about 1 million for the next decade or more.
“If they are half as motivated as the young people I am talking to in Chicago, Donald Trump could have a tremendous impact on the youth vote in this country.”
Trump has repeatedly linked drug trafficking and violent crime with rampant illegal immigration since launching his bid for the White House.
Gutiérrez said that the billionaire’s sharp criticism is motivating Hispanic youth to vote.
“When I ask these young Americans whether they plan to get registered and vote, every hand goes up,” he said.
“When they hear Trump is hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ — not being a guest, but actually hosting, even after saying Mexicans are mostly rapists, criminals and drug dealers — they get the impression that calling whole groups of people rapists, criminals and drug dealers based on their ethnicity or national origin is basically OK with mainstream America,” Gutiérrez said.
“These are American teenagers growing up to distrust the government that protects their safety and livelihoods,” the Illinois Democrat added.
Gutiérrez is lobbying NBC to “dump Trump” from the business mogul’s gig hosting “SNL” on Nov. 7.
The GOP has sought to improve its standing with Hispanic voters following an autopsy of the 2012 presidential contest, when President Obama trounced Mitt Romney with that growing segment of the electorate.
Trump has complicated the party’s efforts by fiercely critiquing America’s immigration system while leading in the polls.
He has repeatedly vowed to deport the nation’s illegal immigrants and build a wall along the border with Mexico if elected president.
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