October 8th, 2013
06:46 PM ET
5 years 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. FoolKiller

    It must be nice to be a Democrat, and have all of the rules apply to the Republicans, and none to you.

    October 8, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. GuyinVA

    At least CNN threw in the last part about illegal immigrants being granted access to the National Mall while others are not. Several people were apparently issued citations for being in a national park today, but this rally takes place. Close memorials to men and women who served their country honorably and in many instances heroically, but reward those who illegally cross the barricades at our borders. That's quite a philosophy.

    October 8, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. ANC vet

    Wow– what s sad diversion tactic, trying to take the focus off the government shutdown!

    October 8, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. Mr Dalloway

    Any non-American that marches on American soil should be either deported or executed

    October 8, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  5. TG

    While they're at it, can they arrest the remaining members of CONgress?

    October 8, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. Me

    Glad to see they are worried about the "fiscal crisis."

    October 8, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. Nelsen Michaelson

    Great example of abiding by the laws of the land.

    October 8, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. allan

    80 year old WWII vets not treated so nice when they tried to walk across the empty pavilion. And try obstructed nothing. Obama, Holder Carney all suck.

    October 8, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. lewtwo

    Reform is need to keep people like Cruz out.

    October 8, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  10. Patrick

    I vote we allow more immigrations, but deport Congress.

    October 8, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  11. Evergreen

    Did not Mr. Pribes(sp?) state earlier that the Rnc would pay the costs to keep the national mall open?

    October 8, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  12. Wallace Rice

    This is more liberal, Democratic Party theatre. Those arrested won't be charged; if charged, they won't be convicted; if convicted, the punishment won't equate to the cost of the theratric production. It's a huge farce designed to be an affront to the American people, serving to distract us from the real issues .

    October 8, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  13. ReW

    What was all over the place? What was able to have this be shown on the internet? If it were not for the CAMERAS do you think they elected officials would have been there? Its all about whos gonna make the news... VOTES VOTES VOTES

    October 8, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  14. George

    Can't we fix the problems at hand before adding new ones.

    October 8, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  15. Felix McGinnis

    What a bunch of Hollywood actors. Vote them all out and throw them all in jail!

    October 8, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  16. Jona

    Those congressmen in the rally were real congress who fight for people. They sacrificed their reason for good and for immigrants. I hope congress will realize as well, pls set aside political tactics and do your job not for revenge for the party who losses past presidential election. Wake up America, this for the good of the country any economics benifits. Don't do your job for your own future carrer or party but think for the good for the people who needed you as part of the contrys progress.

    October 8, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  17. Stella

    Really.....why hasn't the news stations picked this up! Nice example of political correctness by these congressmen disrupting and disobeying the law. Shameful!

    October 8, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. what about thebudget

    Guess to democrats immigration laws are more important than the budget. Afterall, immigration law is established law.

    October 8, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  19. chet

    American Citizens are'nt allowed to walk the Capitals parks or see the our nations memorials due to Gov shut-down but these same sites are opened for illegals to protest with Dem congress members for immigration reform? Well America, you seen exactly who the Dem's are working for and it don't look like it's for American citizens now does it. Time to fix this in 2014 and 2016,

    October 8, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  20. what about thebudget

    So immigration law is more important than the shutdown. But immigration law is established law.

    October 8, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  21. manlian

    I'm surprised that they weren't in jail already for corruption.

    October 8, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  22. sandvichmancer

    Republicans have successfully distracted the public from that issue in the short term.

    October 8, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  23. mrfltinstcfi

    ALL are members of the Socialist Party of America, and as unAmerican as you can get. Shame on those who 'elect' these morons.

    October 8, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. j

    So they staged this whole facade just to make the GOP look bad? Wow, democrats are the most twisted people on earth...

    October 8, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  25. cj

    why no tazer?

    October 8, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
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