Chicago, IL - Illinois Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez was briefly handcuffed after holding a sit-in and refusing to leave an ICE Office on Monday.
According to NBC Chicago, the incident began around 10:00 AM in the U.S. Immigration and Customs' office. A meeting had been held to discuss specific immigration cases including those of Miguel Perez, Jr., and Francisca Lino.
His attorney said that Rep. Luis Gutierrez had first met with ICE about Francisca Lino's case in 2008. He said that she had been doing as instructed by ICE and suddenly everything changed, that she now had a deportation date. Rep. Gutierrez is demanding that her deportation be cancelled.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez said that he wanted answers and that ICE officials told him to "call Washington." His attorney said that one ICE agent had told him to call the White House, and that he told the agent "perhaps you should call the White House."
In a statement, ICE Public Affairs Officer Gail Montenegro said that the Chicago division of ICE, Enforcement and Removal, had agreed to an informational meeting with Rep. Gutierrez and various community groups.
She said that officials had responded to the Congressman's questions during the meeting but that he made demands that the officials couldn't agree to. She said that Rep. Gutierrez and others with him refused to leave the meeting and staged a sit-in, stating that they were not leaving until their demands were met.
Federal Protective Officers were called in because of the Congressman's refusal to leave the office. The officers provided three warnings for Rep. Gutierrez and his group to leave the office. After each warning, they were given several minutes to comply. When the group continued to refuse to leave, they were placed in plastic handcuffs (flexicuffs.)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez and the group remained in the plastic handcuffs for two minutes until ICE officials withdrew their direction for them to leave their office and the building. They were not cited.
Perez is scheduled for deportation due to a felony drug charge that he received when he delivered cocaine to an undercover officer, according to The Chicago Tribune. He is seeking asylum based on his military service and claims that he will be tortured by cartel members if he returns to Mexico. Perez is not a citizen and has a green card.
Lino admitted in 2005 that she used fake documents to obtain entry to the United States, according to CNN. She has been in this country as undocumented for 18 years.
I can't believe the arrogance from an individual who represents this country. Individual ICE Agents or offices cannot make decisions about deportations without following protocol, policy and procedures, that are put in place by approval of the President and his administration. It is typical behavior today to protest or riot when someone's demands are not made. It is not respectful and not the behavior that a Congressman should exhibit.
What do you think about temper-tantrums as a form of protest? We'd like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.