Rep. Gutierrez Handcuffed in ICE Office After Bringing Demands, Staging Sit-in

Rep. Gutierrez Handcuffed in ICE Office After Bringing Demands, Staging Sit-in
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), left, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) got handcuffed in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Chicago today after arriving with a list of demands and staging a sit-in.

One of the things the congressman was protesting was a series of tweets issued by ICE last week warning that those covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program weren’t necessarily safe from removal.

“DACA is not a protected legal status, but active DACA recipients are typically a lower level of enforcement priority,” ICE tweeted. “Deferred action may be revoked anytime especially when someone commits a crime or poses a national security of public safety threat.”

Some congressional Dems accused the agency of trying to scare youths who had stepped forward and attained legal status under the Obama administration.

Gutierrez accused President Trump of approving of ICE trying to “bully vulnerable children” and arrived at the Chicago ICE office this morning.

The congressman told CNN that “there’s a lie, and the lie keeps repeating, it keeps getting repeated, and that is they’re going after criminals, they’re going after the bad people in the immigrant community.”

“The fact is, they’re going after DREAMers. There were tweets out last Friday about that they are no longer protected and that they can be deported,” Gutierrez said. “…What we did is we said, ‘Tell us it isn’t so.’ And then, they tell us, ‘Well, there really isn’t a change in policy.’ Then we tell them, ‘Retract the tweets.'”

“So, look, somebody has to stand up for them. The fact is that they are under threat.”

Gutierrez said he also demanded that ICE say DACA is still in effect, work permits are still valid and beneficiaries are “free from any deportations.”

“So, when they threatened us with arrest, we said, arrest us. If that’s what you must do. We came here to get answers,” he continued. “You saw what they do. They put handcuffs on and then they said, ‘You’re not released.’ It’s very different when it’s not in the dark of the night and there’s a vulnerable, fearful immigrant community that cannot defend themselves and when they have to confront American citizens in plain daylight with the media watching. Very, very different. We want to shed light on the situation.”

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