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Rep. Luis Gutierrez arrested at White House DACA protest

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. File Photo. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

WASHINGTON — Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., was arrested at a rally and sit-in in front of the White House on Tuesday, a protest to pressure the Trump administration to embrace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program protecting youths in the U.S. illegally through no fault of their own.

The North Side lawmaker was taken into custody by the U.S. Park Police with about 25 others. After being held for 2 hours, Gutierrez paid a $50 fine and was released at about 4:30 p.m. ET, according to his spokesman, Douglas Rivlin.

Tuesday marked the fifth anniversary of the kickoff of DACA.

Gutierrez said in a statement, “While the President is coddling racist white supremacists because he is afraid to lose their votes, we took a stand today for justice.

“There is no doubt the American people stand with the young people who face deportation if Republicans kill DACA or fail to defend it in court. . . . I think as the reality of mass deportation, of ending DACA or ending TPS, as that sinks in and becomes more palpable for people, we will see an escalation of non-violent protest across the country.

“It is a shame and an embarrassment — es una vergüenza — the way this White House has turned on immigrants and fomented animosity towards immigrant families.

Gutierrez, whose has been crusading for years on behalf of undocumented youths, was arrested at the White House 2010 and 2011 to ramp up pressure on then President Barack Obama to protect “DREAMers” from deportation.

Obama created DACA on June 15, 2012, and the program started accepting applications on Aug. 15, 2012.