PHILADELPHIA — Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., referred to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in a prime-time Democratic convention speech as a bigot and a bully and slammed his plan to deport 11 million immigrants as a “sick and hateful fantasy.”
Gutierrez, one of the Democrats’ best attack dogs, was one of several opening night speakers who sought to energize immigrant voters, particularly Latinos, that Hillary Clinton hopes will be driven away from the Republican Party by Trump’s rhetoric.
The Chicago congressman invoked the discrimination his parents faced in the 1950s after moving here from Puerto Rico despite being born American citizens.
“Nobody spoke up against the bigotry and hatred my parents endured — so you better believe I’m using my voice against discrimination,” Gutierrez told the crowd.
“I will raise my voice against a bigot who thinks a judge born in Indiana can’t do his job because of where his parents were born. I will raise my voice against a bully who calls hardworking immigrants criminals and ‘rapists.’ Someone who promises to round up and deport families, and then put up a wall between them and us.”
Gutierrez never mentioned Trump by name but returned later to the same theme:
“No matter what others say, it is simply a fantasy that we’re going to round up and deport 11 million people,” he said. “It is a sick, hateful fantasy.”
Gutierrez kept a busy schedule as a campaign surrogate in Hispanic communities on behalf of President Barack Obama and now is doing the same for Clinton.
In an interview before his speech, Gutierrez said he believes Clinton will be able to achieve greater success on immigration than Obama because Republicans in Congress will be forced to take note after November, when he predicts immigrant voters, especially Latinos, will resoundingly reject Trump.