WBEZ | Congressman Gutierrez http://www.wbez.org/tags/congressman-gutierrez Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Where was Congressman Gutierrez at 25? http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-congressman-gutierrez-25-107062 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/luis25.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://gutierrez.house.gov/about-me/full-biography">Illinois U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez</a> has made a name for himself across the nation as one of the most vocal &nbsp;proponents of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/gutierrez-ryan-push-immigration-overhaul-chicago-106786">immigration reform</a>.</p><p>Gutierrez is a longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives &ndash; he&#39;s been serving since 1992. And years before that, he served as alderman of the 26th Ward in Chicago.</p><p>So, you&rsquo;d think, this guy must have been working toward a spot on Capitol Hill all his life.</p><p>Wrong.</p><p>25-year-old Luis Gutierrez was a 1st, 2nd and 3rd teacher in Puerto Rico. He had followed his then-girlfriend, Soraida, there and eventually married her.</p><p>The two were making a life for themselves - Soraida was going to school, and Luis was the lone male teacher in a little school out in the mountains. He was paid minimum wage - about $3.25 per hour, he says &ndash; which was hardly enough to feed the two of them and get Soraida to school. So, as Gutierrez recalls, he gave what little money he had to Soraida for school and then got creative.</p><p>&ldquo;I remember - it&rsquo;s probably a violation of the law today, I hope it wasn&rsquo;t one then, although I&rsquo;m sure the statute of limitations have run out,&rdquo; Gutierrez said. &ldquo;I used to eat with all the children in the school lunch program.&rdquo;</p><p>Gutierrez says he soon realized Puerto Rico wasn&rsquo;t the best option for him and his wife, so they moved back to Chicago, where he was from originally. After a month or so of fruitless attempts to find a job, Gutierrez decided to get his his chauffeur&#39;s license and drive a cab.</p><p>Yes, you read that right. Illinois U.S. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZbMdFUFAro">Congressman Luis Gutierrez</a>, drove a cab when he was 25 years old.</p><p>&ldquo;So, for all of those that see the cab driver, remember, it could be a transitional moment in their life, and one day they could be actually adopting and proposing the laws of the nation, that guy in the front seat,&rdquo; Gutierrez said.</p><p>In this interview with WBEZ&rsquo;s Lauren Chooljian, Gutierrez tells the stories of his 25th year, and explains how that person had not a clue in the world that he&rsquo;d wind up in elected politics. He also discusses how his personality has changed over the years, and what parts of his 25-year-old self had to change in order to be the lawmaker he is today.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is the WBEZ Morning Producer and Reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> </a><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Tue, 07 May 2013 15:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-congressman-gutierrez-25-107062 Gutierrez comes out in support of Obama immigration policy http://www.wbez.org/story/gutierrez-comes-out-support-obama-immigration-policy-91278 <p><p>Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez is coming out in support of President Barack Obama over a new deportation policy. Under the plan, immigration officials would have more discretion on who to prosecute for immigration violations.</p><p>Two weeks ago, President Obama announced the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would be following guidelines that would prioritize one deportation case over another. The <a href="http://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/ero/pdf/immigration-enforcement-facts.pdf">new process</a> will focus on deporting illegal immigrants convicted of violent crimes or that pose significant threat to public safety, over other cases. College students, veterans, long-term residents, pregnant mothers, etc. will be classified as low-priority, meaning their deportation case could be dismissed.</p><p>Gutierrez has been critical of Obama's immigration policies in the past, but says the new rule is a step in the right direction.<br> <br> "All I can tell you is this, that he's made the right decision. Is it everything we asked for? No. Is there more that we believe he can do? Absolutely," he said. "This is the Barack Obama that we've been waiting for. And you want to know something, maybe it took him 30 months to show up, but he has shown up, and we're with him."<br> <br> The Democratic congressman says he will continue to work with Mr. Obama towards comprehensive immigration reform. The Obama administration says it will review roughly 300,000 deportation cases in light of the new policy. Many Republicans have spoken out against the plan, calling it back door amnesty.</p></p> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 19:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/gutierrez-comes-out-support-obama-immigration-policy-91278