Gutierrez Arrested Outside White House

Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:31pm

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) was arrested outside the White House on Saturday afternoon as part of a planned act of civil disobedience designed to call attention to immigration reform rallies taking place across the country.

Gutierrez was arrested along with about two dozen other community leaders, clergy, and supporters of immigration reform — including family members of undocumented workers — sitting down on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and refusing to move when asked to by U.S. Park Police, Gutierrez spokesman Douglas Rivlin confirmed.

Rivlin said Gutierrez — who was taken away in a Metrobus — was being transported to the Park Police detention center in Anacostia and was expected to be released on his own recognizance later Saturday. He is eventually expected to have to pay a fine.

The arrest happened shortly after Gutierrez spoke to a crowd in at a rally in Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House.
Gutierrez’s legislative director, Susan Collins, also was part of the group that was arrested.

The rally, organized by the National Capital Immigrant Coalition, is one of more than 70 such May Day events taking place across the country to protest a tough new Arizona immigration law and press for federal action on a comprehensive immigration bill.

“The Congressman feels it’s very important that we keep the pressure on Washington to get immigration reform passed,” Rivlin said. “The folks in Washington move when there’s pressure on them to do so.”

Rivlin said the Congressman’s office informed Park Police late last week that there likely would be an unlawful attempt to block the sidewalk.

Gutierrez has been arrested before as part of protests.