Philadelphia – Rep. Luis Gutiérrez was riled up Monday at the Democratic National Convention after Fox News Latino asked him what he would say to Latino voters who remain unconvinced and plan to not vote in November.
“The first thing I would say to them is the following: You are young. You have young friends. They are dreamers – 750,000 of them. We worked really, really hard to get them their papers. They are living fuller lives today, free from deportation, free from living in fear,” the Illinois lawmaker, a champion of immigration reform in Congress, said.
"We are in the vanguard and the forefront as a Latino community, fighting for the rights of our immigrants,” he went on. “Yes, they are not citizens of the United States. They cannot vote – but guess what? They are our brothers and sisters … You have a responsibility to vote.”
Hispanic voter participation rate is 48 percent -- much lower than the general voter participation rate nationwide (61%).
The first day of the DNC in Philadelphia has been marred by protests, an ongoing DNC email leak revealed the party leadership’s favoritism to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, and a number of Latino voters who are less than enthused about Clinton’s vice presidential selection, Sen. Tim Kaine.
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"If you believe that there should be safer streets, if you believe in your right to choose, if you believe that anybody should be able to marry whoever they want … all of these things are intermeshed in who the next president of the United States is,” Gutierrez said in his long address to politically-apathetic Hispanics.
"Look, the way the democratic process works is the following: The person with the most votes wins,” Gutierrez concluded. “I say to young people, ‘Move forward, always forward, ‘cause Donald Trump would love for you to stay home.’"
Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente@Foxnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.