(CNN)Rep. Luis Gutierrez spent part of Monday morning in handcuffs. By the evening, the Democrat from Illinois was free to explain just what had happened.
“Look, there’s a lie, and the lie keeps repeating,” 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.”
“They” are officials of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, tasked with making arrests and threatening deportations in the wake of President Donald Trump’s newly designed immigration enforcement policies.
To Gutierrez, though, ICE has its eyes set on the wrong targets.
“The fact is, they’re going after DREAMers,” he said.
It’s these so-called DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States while children, who Gutierrez was vouching for on Monday, when he staged a sit-in at a Chicago immigration office.
“Somebody has to stand up for them … they are under threat,” he said.
“When you see unfairness and unjustness … it’s part of what being an American is, is to stand up.”
Gutierrez and a small delegation of advocates had attended an ICE meeting seeking information about specific cases. After not receiving the answers they sought, Gutierrez refused to leave.
“When they threatened us with arrest, we said ‘arrest us,'” he told Burnett. “We came here to get answers.”