Local immigration reform leaders Arrested in D.C. during protest on Capitol Hill
August 1, 2013: Members of Michigan United including Ryan Bates, Denise López, and Allison Colberg were arrested today in Washington, DC during civil disobedience action at Capitol Hill, where they joined 30 other key immigration reform leaders, labor rights activists, and others from across the country.
The groups gathered to raise the stakes on House Republican’s inertia toward a comprehensive reform of national immigration policy, signaling the beginning of a month of escalated events and actions taking place across the country.
“We are willing to get arrested to put the spotlight on what is at stake for millions of families and the nation,” said Denise López of Michigan United. “There are millions of parents who will be separated from their children and married couples that will live apart, and all because certain House members refuse to do what the voters want them to do: create a path to citizenship, so that communities around the nation can heal.”
Allison Colberg of Michigan United was also one of those arrested in the protest. “Immigrant families in Michigan cannot wait any longer for congress and the president to act to stop the deportations. This is a real crisis—50,000 people are going to be deported while congress goes on vacation this August. That’s 50,000 families torn apart. This is unacceptable.”
Several other national-level advocates were also arrested in the action, including: Eliseo Medina, the International Secretary Treasurer of the SEIU, Arlene Holt Baker, the Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO, Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of South Asian-Americans Leading Together and Phil Radford, the Executive Director of Greenpeace.
Other groups represented included the United Farm Workers, America’s Voice, US ACTION, and several more. In addition, 100 other protesters were present supporting those engaged in civil disobedience.
The message to congress was clear: the fight for immigrant families has been escalated and will continue through actions, protests, events and civil unrest until the House produces a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes a fair, earned path to citizenship.
Today’s events signaled the start of 40 days of action to take place on a national scale throughout August and into fall.