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Article updated: 10/10/2013 8:04 AM

Schakowsky knew rally might lead to arrest

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky was arrested at an immigration rally in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky was arrested at an immigration rally in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

 

PHOTO COURTESY U.S. REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY'S OFFICE

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U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat, said her arrest at a Washington, D.C., immigration rally Tuesday was her first and she paid a $50 fine and was released after about three hours in police custody.

Schakowsky was one of seven members of Congress and about 200 others arrested after blocking a street near the National Mall.

Schakowsky's 9th Congressional district includes portions of Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, and Northbrook.

She said she doesn't regret being arrested and was aware in advance that her actions might lead to that end.

"They do tell us three times that we need to move or we will be arrested, but that was anticipated," she said.

"The important thing was to, and is to, draw attention to the growing momentum in favor of comprehensive immigration reform," Schakowsky said.

She said her wrists were put in plastic handcuffs, then men and women were separated and put into police vans.

"It was quite uncomfortable, but, after all, we were being arrested," she said.

Schakowsky was photographed, paid a $50 fine and was given back personal items including her congressional member lapel pin.

House Democrats including Schakowsky have called for fellow lawmakers to move forward with immigration legislation approved by the Senate that includes both more border security measures and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

House Republican leaders including U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton have called for individual votes on each immigration question.

Either way, federal lawmakers have instead been gridlocked in recent weeks over a temporary budget plan that would end the more than week-old government shutdown.

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