Eight congressmen were arrested yesterday after participating in a rally for immigration reform.
The Democratic congressmen included Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Rep. Al Green of Texas, Rep. Raul Grivjalva of Arizona, Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York, and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.
All eight were willingly arrested, along with close to 200 other protestors, at the “Camino Americano: March for Dignity and Respect” rally held on the National Mall.
The protesters were allegedly blocking a street and were asked to move, but refused, so they were taken into police custody. Those involved knew that would happen prior to the protest, but wanted to show that they would go to any length to demand immigration reform.
“America should not have a permanent under class,” said Jose La Luz, one of the 200 protestors. “That’s why we’re here and that’s why we believe this is the moment.”
While only Democratic congressmen were actually arrested, several Republican congressmen showed up at the rally in support of immigration reform. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Reps. David Valadao and Jeff Denham of California all took part in the events, but were not involved in blocking the street.
Many people are questioning, though, why the protest was allowed to take place on the National Mall, being that the government is still shut down, and according to reports, the Park Service actually helped protestors set this rally up.
Still, the day’s events marked a big step in the push towards immigration reform, with activists saying that enough is enough. They want further action to be pursued, and they don’t want to wait any longer.