Former Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) over the weekend called on mayors of major U.S. cities to open “welcoming centers” for caravan migrants.
Appearing on CNN, Gutierrez, who is now a senior policy adviser for the National Partnership of New Americans (NPNA), urged Democrats leading major U.S. cities like Chicago and Los Angeles to “invite” caravan migrants to stay in their cities, saying he hoped his party “stands up for its principles.”
He said America is the “richest, most powerful nation in the world,” and it “should also be the nation with the biggest heart and a nation that has a great tradition of receiving refugees.”
“And I would say to the mayor of my own city, Rahm Emanuel, instead of hitting yourself on the chest every day about Jussie Smollett, invite them to come to Chicago,” Gutierrez said. “L.A.—invite them to come. New York. There should be welcoming centers all across America for these refugees, for these asylum seekers to find a home in America. That’s what I believe people should be doing right now.”
Gutierrez also challenged President Donald Trump, who announced this weekend that he will be cutting foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, by saying the U.S. should provide more aid and job opportunities to Central American nations so Central Americans can stay in the countries that they love.
Gutierrez made his remarks days after U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan revealed that his agency last Monday “saw the highest total of apprehensions and encounters in over a decade, with 4,000 migrants either apprehended or encountered” various ports of entry in a single day.
Though many migrants seek to enter the U.S. to take advantage of its “catch and release” policies, asylum laws, and judicial backlogs, so many migrants have admitted to reporters that they are fleeing poverty that even establishment media outlets like CBS Evening News had to concede that most of the migrants coming to the United States do not qualify for asylum.
A CBS Evening News report in October noted: “Most tell us they are fleeing extreme poverty, but that’s not a condition for asylum or refugee status in the U.S.”
Trump will visit the border town of Calexico, California, on Friday, and he has repeatedly vowed to close the U.S.-Mexico border if Mexico does not do more to impede the migrants who are on their way to America.
“Mexico is tough. They can stop them. But they chose not to,” Trump said on Friday. “Now they got to stop them. If they don’t stop them, we’re closing the border. We’ll close it, and we’ll keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games.”