Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois was arrested along with roughly 30 fellow protesters outside the White House during a gathering commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The protesters were arrested for sitting on the sidewalk outside the White House after attending a rally in Lafayette Square across the street, according to The Hill. Gutierrez, a well-known immigration advocate, defended the protest shortly before his arrest.
“The same values that I inculcated in my daughters, that my wife and I raised them, [Dreamers] are an example and exemplify them. Their dreams are just like my kids’ dreams,” Gutiérrez told The Hill shortly before his arrest.
The protest comes as the DACA program faces a potential legal challenge from a coalition of 10 states led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who have vowed to mount a legal challenge if President Donald Trump does not rescind the law by September 5. Nearly 800,000 people brought to the country illegally as children have been granted legal status under the law.
This is not Gutierrez’s first brush with the law. He has been arrested three times previously for protesting, including two arrests outside the White House in 2010 and 2011 in immigration-related rallies.
Doug Rivlin, a spokesman for Gutiérrez, said he has been taken to Park Police headquarters in Anacostia Park by Park Police officers, who have jurisdiction over the area in which Gutierrez was arrested.
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