WASHINGTON – Rep. Luis Gutierrez, one of the US Congress’ most outspoken defenders of immigrant rights, is considering a bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, a source close to the lawmaker told EFE.
The Illinois Democrat announced earlier this week that he will not run for re-election in 2018, giving up his seat after more than two decades in the House of Representatives to concentrate on rallying the Latino community to deny President Donald Trump a second term.
“He is looking for strategies to mobilize voters and running in the 2020 election is an option,” a source familiar with the congressman’s thinking said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Gutierrez, who was born in Chicago to Puerto Rican parents, sees the Trump administration as a threat to everything from immigration reform to fair treatment for residents of the US commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the source said.
The legislator recently traveled to the island, where he criticized as inadequate the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria, which knocked out power and water when it slammed into Puerto Rico in September as a monstrous Category 4 storm.
In announcing his plans to leave Congress, Gutierrez ruled out running for mayor of Chicago or governor of Illinois and was dismissive of talk that he might seek the Puerto Rican governorship.
Gutierrez, 63, has been arrested multiple times for acts of civil disobedience while taking part in pro-immigrant protests and showed himself willing to criticize fellow Democrats on the issue, including Barack Obama, whose administration deported a record number of migrants.