October 8th, 2013
06:46 PM ET
12 months ago

Members of Congress arrested at immigration rally

Updated 10/9/2013 at 11:26am

Washington (CNN) - Several House Democrats were arrested near the Capitol on Tuesday during a march for immigration reform.

Reps. John Lewis, Charlie Rangel, Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez, Al Green and Joseph Crowley locked arms with other protesters, allegedly blocking traffic and refusing to disperse.

Approximately 200 demonstrators were arrested, according to U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kim Schneider. The demonstration activity has concluded, Schneider said, and all roads that had been closed are open.

Those arrested will face charges of "crowding, obstructing and incommoding," according to Schneider.

Lewis, a veteran of the civil rights era, has been no stranger to civil disobedience arrests. He's been arrested five times as a member of Congress, including the immigration rally, according to his Congressional office, and at least 45 in total.

No altercations were seen as police used plastic cuffs to restrain the protesters, searched them and led them to police vans for transport and processing.

Following the arrests, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement in support of the protests.

"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," Carney said in a written statement. "It is time for House Republicans to put politics aside and join Democrats to fix our broken immigration system and make the economy stronger."

In addition to members of Congress, protest attendees included Latino artists and members of pro-reform groups.

The rally came under fire by conservative groups earlier in the week after it was issued a permit by the National Park Service despite the partial government shutdown that resulted in the closure of the National Mall.


Filed under: Congress • Immigration
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Tigas

    The National Mall is closed to US Citizens and Veterans and the Govrnment is shut down.
    The mall is open to criminals that blatantly violated the laws and are in the country illegally are allowed in the closed National Mall while hundreds do thousands of dollars were spent on setting up for a rally.

    Disgraceful!

    October 8, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. Armagod

    "Those arrested will face charges of crowding, obstructing and incommoding," Why stop at arresting just six congressmen for incommoding? They are ALL guilty of that!

    October 8, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. Jared

    I can understand peaceful protest. Peaceful in this sense was only by technicality. Maybe they need to define peaceful to include not affecting the daily lives of other individuals. Blocking traffic does otherwise.

    October 8, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  4. Den

    So they were arrested for blocking traffic, but republicans hold our country hostage and nothing...

    October 8, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. theauger

    Another political stunt instead of doing their job.

    October 8, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. SpgfldTom

    8 Dems arrested!! This is the best news I've heard all week!!! With the Obama inspired government shutdown who will throw their bail?

    October 8, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. Graham

    Good to know that our congressmen are out protesting and getting arrested while our government is shutdown. Really a good use of their time and our dime...

    October 8, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. Tony in STL

    As usual, they're arresting the "wrong" people!

    October 8, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. BorisKarlof

    They need to arrest all 200...

    October 8, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. Abbey

    Deadbeats can't find time to deal with the budget problem, so they go crash a national park they closed.

    October 8, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    I think this nation needs very Stringent Immigration Reform. Do not give away immigration cards just like coffee in McDonald's. Let it take full course of time. Our benefits such as Medicare, SS at risk. Please understand be it for IT or doctors.

    October 8, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. EdwardTr

    Ok I think the shutdown is a mess Republicans created, however come on Democrats is this the time to push the immigration cause. Let us stay focused on the crisis at hand.

    October 8, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. SeeThruIt2

    They issued a permit for an immigration reform rally during the shutdown, but not for our aging WW II vets to visit their memorial. We see the Obama`s priorities. Those who served our country can just go home and die!

    October 8, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. GWB

    What the hack is "incommoding". Does that have something to do with a toilet?

    October 8, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. edward mckinsey

    too bad they can't loose the keys

    October 8, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  16. Stephan

    Well, apparently they are not getting enough "air-time" so they decided to grandstand by protesting. "Look at me!, Look at me!"

    October 8, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. Bazoing

    These people paid money to gangsters (coyotes etc.) to get them here against our will and now they are demanding we give them stuff. They certainly would not make good citizens for anywhere. These congressmen are corruptly seeking liberal votes, or just plain stupid.

    October 8, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  18. Doug

    Obama let illegals have a rally, but refuses to allow our Veterans to visit their Memorial they paid for!
    They need to arrest a lot more Congressmen and Senators!

    October 8, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  19. Steve C

    Well....ok....so more rights are being taken away from the legal US citizens. And here are our lawmakers that can't seem to get it together enough to do their jobs properly for the LEGAL US citizens.....that's because they are more concerned with the illegal aliens having more rights when they should be deporting them!! SMH.....

    October 8, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  20. Hugh DaMan

    I don't think I have ever seen a White House as partisan as the Obama White House. I think it's a disgrace that he shows as much contempt as he does for the laws of this country. Immigration reform is necessary and it's the right thing to do, but using the White House as a platform to applaud demonstrators? Disgusting! Obama forgets he's supposed to be everyone's president, not just the president of the liberal half of the country. I for one will be thrilled when Obama leaves D.C. and gets his butt back to Chicago.

    October 8, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. Loathstheright

    Democrats standing up for what is right for Americans. Republicans committing terrorism against Americans. Quite a difference.

    October 8, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. Lainie11

    The President and the Democrats want only a one party government, they do not even recognize any opposition. Most Democrats are progressives, tearing our country apart. I'm so so tired of their rhetoric. Obama can talk to Putin and Rouhani from Iran, but he can't talk and negotiate with the Republicans. He's acting like a spoiled child, stomping his feet everywhere he goes. It's time to grow up all you Democrats, and that includes Scary Harry.

    October 8, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  23. CENTURIALIS

    FREEDOM scream the people all over the history, even now, and thousands of year ago. We still fight for it, peacefully because violence is stupid.

    October 8, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  24. ss

    What do you idiots not understand ##ILLEGAL### You do this just to get there votes

    October 8, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. trandaicathay75

    Oh, right! close national park to law abiding business owners due to shutdown claim but open to those protesters who pushed for amnesty for illegals (shutdown – no problem). Only under liberal rule's logic.

    October 8, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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