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WASHINGTON (AP) — About 35 immigrant advocates, including a nun and a U.S. congressman, were arrested in front of the White House fence Saturday after sitting down and defying orders from police to move.

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois was among those taken away with his hands tied behind his back in plastic restraints.

Many of those arrested Saturday held letters that spelled out the message: “Obama, Stop Deporting our Families.”

Gregory Cendana, the 23-year-old president of the United States Student Association, said he was getting arrested for two close friends and his parents, who came to the U.S. on a visa from the Philippines.

Cendana, who said this was his first arrest, took two deep breaths before answering a question about whether he was scared.

“I feel the love and excitement from everybody here today and I’m trying to draw strength from that,” Cendana said.

Others wore tee-shirts or held signs saying “We are All Arizona,” a nod to the state that recently adopted a tough and controversial new law aimed at curbing illegal immigration.

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