Congressman and Alumnus Luis V. Gutiérrez to speak at commencement

Sarahy Lopez , News Editor

Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez will be NEIU’s May 2018 commencement speaker for the graduation ceremony on May 7.

Gutiérrez is currently in his 12th term serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois’ 4th district. He assumed office in 1993 and has authored and co-authored numerous bills.

Gutiérrez was born and raised in Chicago and is the son of parents who migrated from Puerto Rico in the early 1950s. He previously served as an Alderman in the City of Chicago and has been a teacher and social worker.

Gutiérrez is an alumnus of NEIU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1976. He also joined Que Onda Sola in 1974, the longest-running Puerto Rican and Latinx magazine at NEIU.

He is known for helping former President Barack Obama in providing deportation relief to long-term undocumented immigrants and their families.

He was later presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from NEIU in 2007.

Gutiérrez’s advocacy for undocumented immigrants helped lead to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.

“If we stand together and stand strong, then we can protect those Dreamers and insist on the passage of the Dream Act,” Gutiérrez wrote in a press release addressed to the DACA program.

“These are Americans. They grew up here. They live and work here. They share our nation with us. Right now, we are being called upon to protect them from deportation and we must answer that call.

“I will not play a role in deporting these young Americans back to countries where they are not welcome and could be endangered. They should live and work here in the country that raised them. They are our young people and we should protect them,” Gutiérrez said.

The congressman has worked in Chicago and around the country to work with immigrants to apply for these deportation protection programs that keep families together.

In Nov. 2017, Gutiérrez announced that he would retire from Congress at the end of his current term and not seek re-election in 2018.

The commencement ceremony will be on Mon., May 7 at 4 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine Ave.