News Local/State

Illinois Congressman Gutierrez Takes On Trump In DNC Speech

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, speaking at the Democratic National Convention

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Carolyn Kaster / AP

Speakers at the opening night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia included Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez.

Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat of Puerto Rican descent says when his parents moved to the U.S., in the ‘50s, they were “greeted with scorn and discrimination.”

“Politicians called them criminals,” said Gutierrez. “They said my parents were dangerous, diseased and would ruin the country.  Sound familiar to you tonight?”

It was one of many thinly-veiled references to Donald Trump --- Gutierrez never named the Republican nominee, but he referred often to his past statements, such as criticism of the judge presiding in a lawsuit against Trump University, and description of most undocumented Mexican immigrants as criminals.

“I will raise my voice against the bigot who thinks a judge born in Indiana can’t do his job because his parents were born in Mexico,” said Gutierrez. “I’ll raise my voice against a bully who calls immigrants criminals and rapists.”

But he sang the praises of the Democrats' choice.

“In her heart, Hillary Clinton’s dream for America is one where immigrants are allowed to come out of the shadows, get right with the law, pay their taxes, and not feel fear their families are going to be ripped apart,” said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez has been outspoken in calling for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.