We’re constantly getting questions from people about what they can do to help push back against the increasingly ugly and racist rhetoric from the 2016 election, particularly from the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
While it’s important to lift our voices whenever we see ugly attacks on our Latino, Asian-American, and immigrant communities, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, as always, perfectly sums up what it all must come down to: We must get out to vote to make sure anti-immigrant candidates like Trump never make it to the White House.
And, if you’re a permanent resident eligible to become a citizen but have not yet done so, start the process today.
Selections from Rep. Gutierrez’s speech on the House floor earlier today:
People are calling and coming into my office asking what they can do to push back on Trumpism and very specifically, those who are not yet citizens are asking how to become citizens and those who have not registered to vote are asking how to register.
In Latino and Asian communities and in every community that thinks calling most Mexicans rapists is not the kind of political rhetoric that should go unchallenged, people are becoming citizens.
Think about it. There are roughly 8.8 million immigrants with green cards who have lived in the U.S. for five years or more or have been married to a U.S. citizen for three years or more and they could pass the background check and probably qualify for citizenship.
That’s right, apply for citizenship and you can vote for whoever you want to vote for, and you could even vote against the guy who called your whole ethnic group rapists, murderers and drug-dealers.
That kind of ugly, un-American attack is moving people to apply for citizenship and moving citizens to become voters.
This week, the White House also launched a campaign, “Stand Stronger,” to encourage the nearly nine million permanent eligible residents Rep. Gutierrez mentioned to become citizens, with more than 70 citizenship outreach efforts scheduled across the country this week alone.
Congressman Gutierrez is also holding a citizenship workshop in his district this Saturday (more information on that here). According to the Congressman, more than 50,000 American citizens have come to his office for help to figure out the process.
“I am looking forward to meeting the hundreds of people who will be working towards their citizenship this Saturday in Chicago,” said the Congressman. “The way we respond to racism is by voting and in Latino and immigrant communities, we are getting that message loud and clear.”
Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s remarks in their entirety are available here, and his floor speech on becoming a citizen and registering to vote is available to watch below.