Rep. Gutiérrez, 30 other protesters, arrested outside White House
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and about 30 other people have been arrested during demonstrations protesting President Donald Trump’s policy toward undocumented immigrants.
The protests were held in front of the White House on Tuesday, August 15, which marks the fifth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The protesters were calling on President Trump to maintain the Obama-era temporary amnesty program for young immigrants living illegally in the US.
US Park Police arrested Gutiérrez, a vocal advocate for immigrant rights, after he and other demonstrators sat on the White House sidewalk. They were all taken to Park Police headquarters in Anacostia Park.
“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 almost 800,000 undocumented immigrants, who were brought to the country as children under DACA, have been granted work permits and protection from deportation.
There has been no indication whether the White House and the Justice Department will defend the program in court.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, leading a coalition of 10 states, has promised to contest the program’s legality unless Trump rescinds it by September 5.
A similar protest was also held in New York City where hundreds of activists picketed near Trump Tower, chanting slogans like, “When they say go back, we say fight back.”
“If he rescinds, takes it back, my fear is that I won’t continue school, and I won’t be able to continue to support myself,” said Angel Emmanuel Ortega Morales, whose mother entered the US illegally when he was 4.
Trump’s first month in office was dominated by a battle over his temporary travel ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries and harsh personal criticism of federal judges who blocked his immigration order.
Building a wall on the US-Mexico border to stop the influx of Hispanic migrants coming from Central America was a also hallmark of Trump’s presidential campaign.
During his campaign, Trump characterized Mexican migrants living in the US as murderers and rapists and pledged to build a wall that he said Mexico would pay for.