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Illinois Congressman arrested outside the White House at pro-immigration reform rally

May 2, 2010

Illinois Congressman Luis Guiterrez was arrested Saturday outside the White House at a rally calling for action on U.S. immigration policy.

The Hill reported that the White House protest was one of several held across the country organized by the Campaign to Reform Immigration Across America.    

Gutierrez, who chanted “Si se puede” (“Yes, it is possible”) along with other demonstrators, linked arms with other protesters and took a seat along the White House fence. He was warned to move by police, and when he did not comply he was arrested with a few dozen other protesters.

The crowd chanted the congressman’s name as he was led onto the bus.

Gutierrez was wearing a T-shirt that read, “Arrest me, not my friends.”

Sunday morning, Rep. Gutierrez appeared with former Congressman J.D. Hayworth of  Arizona for a discussion on how best to address the question of  illegal immigration on CBS’s Face the Nation.

The discussion over whether immigration or an energy and climate bill would be the next piece of major legislation to be considered by the Senate continued over the weekend.   

The New York Times reported that beyond sending the proposed Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill to the EPA for weeks of evaluation, the Senate has no game plan for moving the bill in the absence of support from Republicans like Graham, who withdrew his support for a climate change bill because of the Democrats desire to tackle immigration first.

Beyond that, Senate Democrats do not appear to have a clear path forward, or for that matter be on the same page.

(Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick) Durbin said that collecting 60 supporters for a comprehensive climate bill rests not in the leadership office, but with Kerry, Lieberman and environmental groups.

“I don’t know if it’s our hands to get to 60 votes, in other words to pick up another Republican,” Durbin said. “We’d sure need the help of environmentalists across the nation to try and persuade them. But at this point, on each of the big bills, we’re still looking for a few Republicans who are looking to join us.”

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico also looks to be impacting the energy debate.  

As the government  fights to get the upper hand on cleaning up the oil, the White House has shelved plans to expand oil and gas exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf.   In a complete overreaction to the spill, A CNN contributor argues America has hit rock bottom in its addiction to dirty fuels and the nation should put an end to all offshore drilling.

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