Rep.(D-Ill.) was arrested in a act of civil disobedience outside the White House on Saturday during a May Day protest for immigration reform along with three immigration activists who had met with President Obama just last month
Guiterrez spoke to a crowd of hundreds at Lafayette Square, then he announced that he was going to go to the White House fence with other protesters to sit down and not move until he was arrested or until comprehensive immigration reform was signed.
A total of 35 protesters were reportedly handcuffed by Park Police after they sat down on the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Avenue just past the fence outside the White House North Lawn.
Gutierrez, who chanted "Si se puede" ("Yes, it is possible") along with other demonstrators, linked arms with other protesters and took a seat along the White House fence. He was warned to move by police in English and Spanish, and when he did not comply he was arrested with a few dozen other protesters.
The crowd chanted the congressman's name as he was led onto a bus that was waiting for those who intended to commit the civil disobedience that was planned.
Gutierrez was wearing a T-shirt that read, "Arrest me, not my friends."
The arrests indicate that immigration reform is the central issue for many Hispanic leaders, particularly in the light of the stringent SB 1070 anti-immigrant measures signed into law in Arizona last week.
Video (Top of post): May 01, 2010 — About 35 immigrant advocates have been arrested in front of the White House fence, including a U.S. congressman, after they sat down and defied orders from police.
Protesters are usually required to stay in motion when demonstrating in front of the White House. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois was among those detained on a nearby bus.
Many of those arrested Saturday held letters of a sign saying, "Obama, Stop Deporting our Families."
Hundreds of protesters turned out for the rally at Lafayette Park, urging President Barack Obama to fulfill his campaign promises to achieve immigration reform.