Rep. Gutierrez Plans to be Arrested at White House

Gutierrez has been arrested before

Rep. Luis Gutierrez has been an outspoken critic of the White House on a number of issues.

Saturday he plans to get arrested while protesting in front of the Presidential mansion, Lynn Sweet reports.

Gutierrez will join a group of protesters in D.C. who are upset with the controversial Arizona law that authorizes police to stop and search people they suspect of being undocumented immigrants.

Gutierrez the Democrats' leading advocate for immigration reform, has said he voted for health care reform on the understanding that Obama and congressional Democrats would move a major immigration bill.

He plans to be arrested and released in time for an appearance on "Face The Nation" on CBS Sunday morning.

Even though he would like to see Latinos turn out to vote for Democrats in 2010, Gutierrez said "many will probably decide to stay home." However, he added, a strict, new immigration law in Arizona may change that dynamic.

"On one hand you are not going to vote because you don't believe people you voted for are doing a good enough job," Gutierrez said. "Then you say, 'I got to vote, because the enemy is so mean and vindictive, I got to get out there.'"

The Hispanic vote is growing, largely because of Latinos' increasing population. The 9.7 million Latinos who cast ballots in 2008 made up about 7.4 percent of the electorate, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study.

Hispanic voters helped flip the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico from Republican to Democratic in the 2008 presidential election.

But even though Latinos' numbers have been increasing, in some parts of the country their portions of voting populations are not large enough to affect election outcomes.

Democrats hold a 254-177 majority in the House, with four vacancies. But 48 are in districts where Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain did better than Obama in the 2008 elections.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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