Gutierrez: Mark Kirk has let Latinos down

 Chicago, IL – Congressman Luis Gutierrez said U.S. Senate Nominee Alexi Giannoulias is the only candidate in the race who will stand up for Hispanic voters and critized Congressman Mark Kirk for opposing issues that are critical in their community.

“More than ever, we need leaders like Alexi  in Washington, D.C. who are not afraid to stand up for what’s right and who will move our country forward,” said Gutierrez, who is from Puerto Rico. “Congressman Kirk thinks that immigration reform means sending condoms to Mexico to lower population growth. That’s not an answer and it’s not productive.

“I had hoped Mark Kirk would be a moderate, common-sense voice in Congress and someone I could reach across the aisle and work with in a bipartisan manner,” Gutierrez added. “Unfortunately, Mark Kirk has been far from moderate, and his views on immigration are simply unfair and unworkable.”

Giannoulias vowed to fight for passage of the DREAM Act and other meaningful immigration reforms. After failing to take a position on the DREAM Act during the past 10 years, Kirk finally announced recently that he would vote to defeat it.

“Congressman Kirk puts politics over meaningful solutions on issues important to Latino families and refuses to embrace meaningful immigration reform or support the DREAM Act,” Giannoulias said. “Opposing the DREAM Act is a slap in the face to students who are counting on this legislation to become productive members of society.”

Giannoulias express his dismay after Republicans blocked a vote on the DREAM Act last month. The bill would provide young immigrants the opportunity to attend college and achieve permanent residency. Currently, many qualified students who have earned high school diplomas are prohibited from going to college because of their immigration status.

“We should not punish individuals who were brought here as children and are trying their hardest to realize the American Dream,” Giannoulias said. “As senator, I will fight for the passage of the DREAM Act so that these young people can be fully integrated into society and become productive, tax-paying citizens.”