politics

Rep. Gutierrez Went To ICE For Answers And When He Didn’t Get Them He Staged A Sit-In

@RepGutierrez / Twitter

Rep. Luis Gutierrez is not going down without a fight. The representative from Illinois’s 4th congressional district took a stand and tried to confront Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in their Chicago office on Monday. Gutierrez was seeking answers about the fate of Francisca Lino, a Chicago woman and mother of six who is currently facing deportation after 18 years in the U.S.

Gutierrez’s protest and arrest is the latest in a long line of anti-deportation demonstrations across the country started by the detention of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos in Arizona and sweeping raids that have left undocumented communities in fear.

Francisca Lino has lived in the U.S. for 18 years, has six children, and is married to a U.S. citizen. Last week, during a check-in with ICE, Lino was told she’d have to leave.


“ICE needs to be careful not to turn routine supervised-release visits into a high risk of detention,” Leon Fresco, former deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation, told CNN. “Or it will unwittingly create more fugitives who won’t show up to these visits.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez heard about Lino’s situation and immediately organized a meeting with ICE officials in Chicago.


The Washington Post described Rep. Gutierrez as a sort of “father figure” to Lino, who has been there with Lino for the past 15 years, as she attempted to clear up her immigration issues.

Rep. Gutierrez held a 5-hour sit-in after the original meeting didn’t culminate with the ending he was hoping for.


“Look, there’s a lie, and the lie keeps repeating,” Rep. Gutierrez told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “[The lie is that] they’re going after criminals, they’re going after the bad people in the immigrant community. The fact is, they’re going after DREAMers.”

DREAMers have been fearful of the Trump administration using their information from DACA renewals or enrollment against them. In New York City, Republican politicians filed a lawsuit to prevent Mayor Bill de Blasio from purging information that can be used for deportation from the IDNYC system. The information will now only be made available under a judge’s order.

Rep. Gutierrez and the immigration activists in the room refused to leave the building after being threatened with arrest. As Rep. Gutierrez’s Twitter caption states, officials arrested them then quickly released those detained.


Rep. Gutierrez told CNN that he asked the officers to arrest him because he was there for answers and would not be leaving.

Here’s a video of the arrest as it happened.

El congresista Luis Gutiérrez fue arrestado hoy en las oficinas regionales del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos (ICE) en Chicago.

Artemio Arreola, director de organización política de la Coalición de Illinois de Inmigrantes y Refugiados (ICIRR), mencionó que todos fueron detenidos por “desobediencia civil” e indicó que permanecían en el cuarto piso de las instalaciones de ICE.

“Luego nos amenazaron con llevarnos arrestados y les dijimos que estábamos dispuestos a ir a la cárcel por nuestros inmigrantes. Nos pusieron las esposas y a los minutos nos las quitaron, porque a ellos les gusta tratar con tiranía a los que ven vulnerables”, agregó el Congresista.

Posted by JP Dominguez on Monday, March 13, 2017

After the arrest, Rep. Gutierrez tweeted this photo with a caption that lets everyone know that he is not done fighting yet.


“They were scared to arrest us because they know our cause is just,” Rep. Gutierrez tweeted. “We ended our sit in but we will #resist.”

Watch Rep. Gutierrez talk to CNN about his arrest.


READ: Watch Congressman Luis Gutierrez Passionately Explain Why He’s Boycotting The Inauguration

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Pregnant Mom Of Two Children Faces Deportation Back To Guatemala Without A Place To Go

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Pregnant Mom Of Two Children Faces Deportation Back To Guatemala Without A Place To Go

@OccupyWallStNYC | Twitter

It’s quite rare to hear of raids in sanctuary cities such as New York City or Los Angeles, but detainments do happen. In 2018, the Queens Eagle reports that 33 people were detained in Queens and 35 were detained in Brooklyn. This latest case is not only affecting the person arrested but her small children as well.

A Guatemalan pregnant woman living in Queens with her two U.S.-born children is currently facing deportation.

Alma Sofia Centeno Santiago is a 33-year-old undocumented woman that was arrested by ICE at a Queens courthouse. She was there for a court appearance in regards to a dispute with the father of her child. Some called foul when Santiago was initially arrested because ICE cannot do those inside courthouses.

“This a particularly harrowing example of the human devastation caused when ICE enters the courthouse,” Make the Road Action Managing Director Daniel Altschuler told the Eagle earlier this month.

The family of this woman is very concerned for because she’s currently very sick and, also, if deported, has nowhere to go when she gets to Guatemala.

Santiago, who’s been held at New Jersey’s Bergen County Detention Facility for two months, is reportedly experiencing extreme stomach pain and is in quarantine due to a measles outbreak at the center.

Her family and friends already fear the worst because they haven’t heard from her in a couple of days.

“We are nervous and concerned because she usually calls us,” her friend Jennifer Pacheco told the publication, “She said if she didn’t call them, they may have moved her. They told her that maybe Sunday night going into Monday, or Monday night going into Tuesday that she will probably be removed and deported.”

If deported, Santiago leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.

READ: 11-Year-Old Undocumented Girl Is Being Forced To Leave The U.S. Without Her Family

Say Their Names: This Father-Daughter Pair Were Found Dead, Washed Up On Banks Of Rio Grande After Attempting To Swim Across

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Say Their Names: This Father-Daughter Pair Were Found Dead, Washed Up On Banks Of Rio Grande After Attempting To Swim Across

Just hours after news broke that a woman and three children were found dead at the US-Mexico border, we have confirmation of two more deaths.

This time it’s a father-daughter pair who died a horrific death trying to find a better life in the United States.

Across social media, horrific pictures are circulating showing the victims’ lifeless bodies drowned in the Rio Grande.

Heartbreaking images reveal the tragedy of a father who drowned with his 23-month-old daughter as he went back to try and save her in the Rio Grande while her mother watched on.

Credit: @dailymailuk / Twitter

Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his daughter Valeria were found face down in shallow water on the Mexico side of the river across from Brownsville, Texas on Monday morning.

Their deaths are the latest in a string of migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border.

Just yesterday, the bodies of four undocumented people, one 20-year-old woman, two infants, and a toddler, were found near the Rio Grande.

The father had successfully taken his daughter to the US side of the border but the little girl followed her father back as he returned for the mother.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

After waiting desperately for two months in a migrant camp Ramírez crossed the lethal currents near Matamoros first with his child before returning to other the side for his wife Tania Vanessa Ávalos, 21.

But their youngster, misunderstanding why she had been left on the other side got back into the water and Ramírez fatefully went in to save her.

Ávalos could only watch in horror as her husband and daughter were swept a few hundred yards downstream to their deaths.

Credit: @CBSNews / Twitter

Photos from the scene show his black shirt hiked up to his chest with the girl’s head tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments. 

The family had been waiting nearly two months in an overcrowded migrant camp before finally deciding to make the dangerous crossing.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

Ávalos said the family left El Salvador on April 3 and that they spent the last two months in Mexico at a migrant camp waiting for an appointment to apply for asylum to enter the U.S.

A Tamaulipas government official said the family arrived in Matamoros early Sunday and went to the U.S. Consulate to try to get a date to request asylum. 

It’s not clear what happened to the family at the U.S. Consulate, but a shelter director said only about 40 to 45 asylum interviews were being conducted in Matamoros each week, while somewhere in the neighborhood of 800-1,700 names were on a waiting list.

Twitter lit up with reaction to both the devastating photo and the story behind it.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

The devastating news and shocking photo have generated tons of comments on Twitter.

Many are frustrated by the government’s inability to take action to help migrants.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

The issue of migrant deaths shouldn’t be fought along party lines. Each and every member of government should be able to agree that steps need to be taken, first and foremost, to stop people from dying.

While many on Twitter were outraged at the comments from people completely lacking empathy and compassion for the lives lost.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

Sadly, there are still way too many comments on Twitter from people who say migrants shouldn’t risk the journey and that they’d survive. Too many people still don’t get it.

From the scorching Sonora desert to the fast-moving Rio Grande, the US-Mexico border has long been a deadly journey for migrants trying to cross into the US.

Credit: @fams2gether / Twitter

In recent weeks alone, two babies, a toddler and a woman were found dead on Sunday, overcome by the sweltering heat. 

Elsewhere three children and an adult from Honduras died in April after their raft capsized on the Rio Grande, and a 6-year-old from India was found dead earlier this month in Arizona, where temperatures routinely soar well above 100 degrees.

‘Very regrettable that this would happen,’ Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday in response to a question about the photograph. 

‘We have always denounced that as there is more rejection in the United States, there are people who lose their lives in the desert or crossing the river,” he added.

The tragic deaths come amid reports of squalid conditions and overcrowding at migrant shelters.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

“The kids had colds and were sick and said they didn’t have access to soap to wash their hands. It was an alcohol-based cleanser,” Clara Long, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch said to CNN. “Some kids who were detained for 2-3 weeks had only one or two opportunities to shower. One said they hadn’t showered in three weeks. Hygiene and living conditions like this creates a risk of spreading infectious disease. It makes me very concerned about the public health emergency.”

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