U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., was arrested during a demonstration outside The White House on Tuesday, marking the second time the congressman has been arrested for protesting federal immigration policy.
Gutierrez and about a dozen other protestors were arrested after sitting down in an area in front of The White House where people were supposed to keep moving and refused to comply with police officers. He was placed in plastic handcuffs and taken to a waiting van, but was released in time to make it back for a House floor vote.
As chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, Gutierrez has been one of the more vocal critics of the Obama administration's immigration policy. The president said in a Monday speech to the National Council of La Raza that Republicans were resisting any effort at immigration reform, but he has also presided over a record number of deportations.
While Obama has insisted that violent criminals constitute the bulk of those deported, immigration advocates point to the deporations of low level offenders or people who came to the country illegally as children, some of whom would have been offered a path to citizenship through the failed DREAM Act.
"The President says Republicans are blocking immigration reform and he's right, but it doesn't get him off the hook," Gutierrez said in a statement released by one of the protesting groups. "Everyone knows he has the power to stop deporting DREAMers and others with deep roots in the U.S., and we think he should use it."
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Gutierrez was also arrested at The White House during a May 2010 immigration protest.