A group of 41 people including immigration, labor, civil rights, religious leaders and DREAMers were arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C. after they engaged in civil disobedience by blocking traffic by the House Cannon Office building. Chanting “Si, se puede!” and “Undocumented, unafraid!” the crowd urged action on immigration legislation, which has stalled in the House and will not be debated on until after the August recess.
“I left my two daughters at home, to participate in this action, because everyday parents are being taken from their children,” said Andrea Cristina Mercado, National Campaign Director for the National Domestic Workers.
“Until the House passes a bill that includes a pathway to citizenship, we will continue to be in the streets, at town hall meetings and on the phones, demanding justice for the 11 million aspiring Americans in our country,” said SEIU labor leader Eliseo Medina.
Kica Matos, from the Campaign for Community Change, said that “our rapidly growing political power confronts Congress with the moral urgency and human cost of our broken immigration system that can only be ignored at the risk of unprecedented upheaval.”
Others participating included Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center. “Each day that the House pushes immigration reform to the side, another 1100 members of our community are deported. We’re taking a stand today to say enough is enough.”
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the immigration reform advocacy organization America’s Voice, said he was proud to join my friends in this simple act of conscience. Immigration reform with a path to citizenship is a defining issue for our generation.”