Earlier today Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D – Illinois) made a speech on the House floor where he invited Republicans to meet the nation’s Latinos. In providing a basic introduction to the Latino community, Gutierrez rattled demographic information about this growing part of the American electorate.
Representative Gutierrez explained:
“I would like the Republican Party to meet America’s Latinos.
It’s hard to meet us all at once, because there are more than 53 million of us, but let me tell you a little bit about who we are and what we do.
Most Latinos are citizens. In fact, many of us have been here for many generations. We live all over the United States, and our population is growing fast.
In fact, every single year, 500,000 young Latino citizens turn 18 and become eligible to vote. Of Latinos under the age of 18 — Ninety-three percent are citizens.
In this election, 1 in 10 voters were Latinos. In another decade, some analysts predict, we will be 25% of the voting age population.
And here’s a key fact about the more than 16 million Latino immigrants — – they work, and they work hard, often in jobs that are hardest to fill. Picking grapes and garlic, caring for young children in day-care centers, sweeping and cleaning as janitors in hospitals and office buildings. You know what else they do? They pay taxes, regardless of their legal status.
Here’s one last fact – Latinos love America. And, my Republican friends – I promise, in time, you’ll love us too.
I hope this introduction is helpful – but I know it’s a little late.
The Republican Party really met Latinos on Election Day.”
He then invited Republicans and Democrats to come together to work on comprehensive immigration reform.
Today’s speech by Congressman Gutierrez represents momentum in Congress to get something accomplished on immigration. Yesterday Senator Robert Menendez laid out his plan for passing comprehensive immigration reform, while the President told the press that he was confident that he could get “get immigration reform done.”
Please watch the Congressman’s full remarks here: