Two members of Congress — Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA, and Rep. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill., —were among the 182 demonstrators arrested during a rally demanding that Congress pass a clean Dream Act.
The arrests came after a rally and march to the Capitol where about 15,000 called for a vote on the DREAM Act. Chu and Gutierrez were charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding,” They were processed and released.
“‘Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.’ Those are the words written by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during his own, far more dire, arrest in Birmingham.” said Chu after being released. She apparently was expecting to be arrested because Wednesday morning she had posted on social media that she was off to get arrested.
“And while my brush with the law today was planned and civil, those words from his famous letter continue to inspire our civil disobedience. Then it was on behalf of Black citizens treated as less than human. Today it is on behalf of immigrants who are facing threats of deportation and separation from family and the only home they have ever known,” said Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Concus.
Under DACA, nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children have been given work permits and protection from deportation. Trump wants to end the program by March 2018 and challenged Congress to come up with legislation to protect this group before the deadline.
“There is a bipartisan bill ready to be voted on that I know could gain a majority vote if only Speaker Ryan would let us bring it to the floor,” said Chu. “We have tried everything from large scale rallies to a small meeting with the Speaker to make our case. But each time, we have been ignored. Today, I know our words were heard, but will Republicans have the courage to act on them?
Trump’s decision to end TPS will impact 420,000 immigrants from over 10 countries, the majority of which have populations that are majority Black including Sudan, South Sudan, Haiti, Somalia, Yemen, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/asamnews, following us on Twitter, sharing our stories, interning or joining our staff.