Print options

October 08, 2013

Congressmen Among 200 Arrested at Immigration Rally

by VOA News

Thousands of people have marched on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to demand that Congress pass a measure that would overhaul the U.S. immigration system, and in particular, provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.
 
Capitol police on Tuesday arrested nearly 200 people, including eight members of Congress, who allegedly engaged in acts of civil disobedience as part of the rally.
 
Those arrested included Democratic congressmen John Lewis, Luis Gutiérrez, Raúl Grijalva, Keith Ellison, John Crowley, Charles Rangel, Al Green, and Jan Schakowsky.
 
Prospects for passage of a comprehensive immigration bill appear dim.
 
A bill passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate and backed by the White House includes billions of dollars for border security as well as a 13-year path to citizenship for those already in the U.S. illegally.
 
Most House Republicans have rejected this comprehensive approach and it is unclear if they will ever pass legislation that could form the basis for a final deal with the Senate.
 
The rally was held even though the National Mall is officially closed due to the partial government shutdown.
 
The National Parks Service said the immigration rally is being allowed because it is considered an act of free speech protected by the Constitution.