Gutiérrez, Schakowsky Arrested at Immigration Rally

Two Illinois congressmen are among those who were arrested for civil disobedience during an immigration rally in Washington.

Democratic Reps. Luis Gutiérrez of Chicago and Jan Schakowsky of Evanston were arrested Tuesday afternoon. That's according to their offices.

The representatives are calling on Congress, particularly Republicans, to push immigration legislation forward. The Senate has passed a bill that includes amped up border security. House Democrats have unveiled a plan with a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. But it's unclear if the GOP-led House will ever pass legislation.

Neither Gutiérrez nor Schakowsky's offices knew what the congressmen would be charged with.

Gutiérrez has been arrested several times for civil disobedience, including once outside the White House in 2011.

Other arrested House members at the rally included Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga.; Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz.; Keith Ellison, D-Minn.; Joseph Crowley and Charles Rangel, both D-N.Y. and Al Green, D-Texas.

Those arrested will be charged with "crowding, obstructing and incommoding" under the local laws of the District of Columbia, the Capitol Police said. The arrests began about 3 p.m. and ended two hours later, police said in a statement.

Before being arrested, Gutiérrez said he planned the act of civil disobedience "so the speaker of the House can free Congress and finally pass immigration reform."

Citing the demonstration, the White House issued a statement calling for the House to take up the immigration bill.

"The enthusiastic demonstration of support for immigration reform this week has proven to Congress that the broad coalition behind commonsense solutions to our nation's broken immigration laws is as strong as it has ever been," according to the statement from press secretary Jay Carney. "It's time for the House of Representatives to reopen the government, pay their bills and get back to the important work of moving the economy forward."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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