Oct 10, 2013
Eight members of Congress joined 200 immigrant, faith, and labor activists on Tuesday in an act of civil disobedience aimed at reigniting work on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that has stalled in the House.
Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Al Green (D-Texas), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) were all arrested along with the activists, which included CWA Secretary-Treasurer Annie Hill, TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer and CWA Senior Director Yvette Herrera.
The Oct. 8 action was part of the "Camino Americano Rally and March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect," a rally urging House Speaker John Boehner and Republican leaders to bring immigration up for a vote. Despite the government shutdown, 15,000 people turned out to pray, march, and sing along to performances by Grammy Award-winning artists Los Tigres del Norte and Lila Downs on the National Mall.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) reminded the audience of the bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform when the Senate passed a bill in June, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led the crowd in chants of "Si, se puede!" Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart spoke at the rally, sharing the stage with Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), and David Valadao (R-Calif.). Dozens of Democratic House members also expressed their support.
The crowd then marched to the U.S. Capitol, where they blocked the streets. It was the third major act of civil disobedience by immigration reform advocates in the past couple of months.
This fall, lawmakers will continue to hear from activists that the TIME IS NOW for immigration reform with a path to citizenship. We'll be demanding a vote.
CWA Secretary-Treasurer Annie Hill, TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer and CWA Senior Director Yvette Herrera are arrested after participating in an act of civil disobedience at the U.S. Capitol.
CWA President Larry Cohen leads members to the rally on the National Mall.
Eight members of Congress – Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Rep. Al Green (D-TX), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Rep. Jan Schawkowsky (D-IL) and Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) – were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police.
The crowd gathers on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.