-- and op-ed by Congressman Luis Gutierrez for Lawndale News (IL)
Our country and our state was built by the hard work and dedication of immigrants and refugees. We would not have so many of the things we take for granted today if it weren’t for the immigrants that make our state strong.
Our country has thrived because of our centuries old legacy of welcoming immigrant families with open arms, but Illinois is failing to uphold that core value.
Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric and policies have fostered hostility towards parents and children coming to this country seeking refuge and a better life. Families fleeing war, poverty, and injustice are being ripped apart at our border, their children forced into cages. Our president fights to stop immigrants from what he calls “shithole countries.” Religious minorities are turned away at our airports. And what does our governor do? He not only sits on the sidelines, he engages in the same racist language, and pursues the same bigoted agenda, as Donald Trump.
Just the other day, Rauner blamed undocumented immigrants for crime and unemployment in Chicago, echoing the worst racist tropes we hear from our president. Since then he’s done nothing but double down on that hatred. This is shameful from a man who should be doing everything in his power to make Illinois a firewall against attacks on immigrants. When hatred is spewed from our country’s highest office, we need leaders who will call this language out for what it is, not adopt it as their own.