- (Photo: The Christian Post/Napp Nazworth)
Several Democratic members of Congress were arrested on Tuesday for their participation during immigration rally in front of the United States Capitol.
The Democratic members of Congress were among roughly 200 people who were arrested during the demonstration.
Eight representatives locked arms and proceeded to obstruct traffic across Independence Avenue during rush hour and would not head officer's orders to disperse, Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider confirmed.
Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., John Lewis, D-Ga., Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Al Green, D-Texas, Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., Jan Schawkowsky, D-Ill. and Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., and the others arrested will be charged with "crowding, obstructing, and incommoding" under D.C. Code 22-1307.
The protest, which was organized by a group called Camino Americano, hoped to put pressure on Congress to move towards opening a path to citizenship for immigrants without legal status. While the National Mall, where the demonstration took place, is technically closed for a shutdown, the National Parks Service allowed it under the First Amendment.
The White House issued a statement of support for the protesters and their cause Tuesday afternoon.
"The enthusiastic demonstration of support for immigration reform this week has proven to Congress that the broad coalition behind commonsense solutions to our nation's broken immigration laws is as strong as it has ever been," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. "It is time for House Republicans to put politics aside and join Democrats to fix our broken immigration system and make the economy stronger."
A major force in the immigration debate is Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte who as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and who sees every immigration bill.
He previously explained that the House intended to break up immigration reform into separate bills that individually addressed components like security, enforcement and workplace verification.
The representative also explained that one of his key disagreements with the Senate's immigration bill was its inclusion of "special" pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrations, instead arguing that existing legal channels of citizenship ought to be utilized.