A day after the largest Hispanic civil rights organization rebuffed President Barrack Obama’s assurances that he could not change immigration reform by himself a member of his own party, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) was arrested Tuesday outside the White House.
It was the second time that Gutiérrez had been arrested and both times it has been to protest the Obama administration’s deportation policy. More undocumented workers have been deported by the Obama administration on a yearly basis that under any other president.
Gutierrez spokesman Douglas Rivlin said the congressman was arrested with other pro-immigration advocates after a Lafayette Square rally to protest deportations.
Sgt. David Schlosser, U.S. public information officer for the D.C. Park Police, said 11 people were arrested for “violating regulations for demonstrations in front of the White House,” and for “disobeying an official to come in compliance.” According to The Hill, Schlosser would not confirm that Gutierrez was among those detained.
It wasn’t needed. The congressman’s office took care of that.
According to Rivlin, the protesters were arrested after they sat down in front of the White House fence and refused orders by park police to leave.
The Hill said that Gutierrez also was arrested in May 2010 during a similar protest outside the White House gates. He had announced that he would not move until he was arrested or until comprehensive immigration reform had become law. He paid a $100 fine afterward, Rivlin said.
Those arrested Tuesday were handcuffed and taken to a van to transport them to the Park Police headquarters in Anacostia Park, Rivlin said. The protesters included representatives from the Center for Community Change and Casa de Maryland.
“The president says that Republicans in Congress are blocking immigration reform, but that doesn’t let him off the hook,” Rivlin said. “That’s the point of this event, and the point made yesterday when protesters interrupted Obama’s speech [at the conference of the National Council of La Raza].”