October 8th, 2013
06:46 PM ET
6 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. Manuel J.

    My tios came from Mexico LEGALLY AND my in-laws waited 10 years after WWII ended to immigrate LEGALLY to the U.S. Dreamers aside, why are the illegals demanding special consideration?

    October 8, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  2. Steve- Illinois

    So the immigration protestors are "patriots", but the WW II heroes are denied access.
    What country is this again?

    October 8, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  3. bob

    What ever happened to the right of assembly? If people can be arrested for protesting stupid government policies we're no better off than people living in dictatorships. If Republicans have the political clout to stop people from protesting it won't be long till they can bring an end to free speech and elections. They have to be stopped and they have to be stopped now.

    October 8, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  4. rc cola

    Are we suppose to be proud of these officials??? I don't even get why they were arrested? Are they saying we need more people in to take the jobs we don't have?? I'm confused? The Dems need to explain this immigrant pursuit when we don't have the jobs. Marco Rubio too, we don't have the jobs period, I DONT CARE WHAT YOU HAVE TO TELL YOUR PEOPLEI THE TRUTH IS BEST. WE DONT HAVE ENOUGH WORK FOR AMERICANS SO......... don't care if you say it in English or Spanish, we don't have the jobs so go ask your native country for the employment. MY GOD WE RE NOT SUPER HEROS LIKE THE DEMS MAKE US OUT TO BE......

    October 8, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  5. Dr Veruju

    "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." .....What total and complete nonsense.
    How about putting some small fraction of the effort expended on this travesty towards getting the 20 plus million* unemployed US citizens back to work. Unemployed US citizens the people truly in the shadows.
    *numbersusa

    October 8, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  6. Scott B

    Yay for free speech. Oh, except here and here and here. You have to go to that corner where no one's at.

    October 8, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  7. Scooter

    Can we have the other 530 of 'em arrested for blocking growth and refusing to disperse common sense?

    October 8, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  8. smdahl

    Interesting that the White House supports protests when they support its legislative agenda. Riot gear and tear gas to the face for everyone else.

    October 8, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  9. chume

    what a disgrace. Instead of Carney saying shame on members of congress for being arrested, he scolds republicans. No wonder this country is so divided

    October 8, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  10. Kenman

    Well black libs, there's your fabled black leader John Lewis trolling for ILLEGALS to legalize for votes to replace you!

    October 8, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Lock them all up.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  12. 1Joyce

    Over 200 people arrested and this administration puts out a statement calling it an "enthusiastic demonstration", urging Republicans to roll over and give illegals what they're demanding. Unbelievable. Can you even imagine the outrage if this had been a Tea Party "demonstration". You don't have people illegally enter our country and then go out of your way to meet their demands.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  13. Shawn

    Immigration reform is good. Blocking traffic is bad. I don't care what you are protesting, get out of the street.

    October 8, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  14. MmmmmMmmmmm

    Meanwhile, Republicans were asking them if they grew up on a diet of Tacos.

    October 8, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  15. 1Joyce

    What a slap in the face to all Americans, who have been banned from entering the National Mall, but it is opened up to illegals and/or others fighting for their so-called "right" to be given amnesty! What a slap in the face to all of those who followed the law and entered this country legally. This is a sick administration.

    October 8, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  16. rudy Acosta

    I guess congress is just bored since passing bills isn't a thing anymore

    October 8, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  17. mik

    You don't get a pass

    October 9, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  18. LukeNsee

    With the newest Military troops KILLED in Afghanastan, they CONGRESS won't pay for military burial, but will pay them for their time there! What an embarresement to the THIS country that They spend time on a deterent to illegal immigrants and try to pull the media away from the issues at hand...... Just as stupid when EX ILLINOIS governors tried to
    throw in the plight of death row inmate circus and free rides for seniors on the busses and trains...... What a shame and who said they can do this CIRCUS when Federal families are not being paid, when the FDA has a major crisis with
    Chicken meats that is all over this country with e-coli and worse, and these fools are in a march for immigration!!! Yet the the republicans holding this country hostage and wants to deal with a barter system on the backs of families, children, medical and professional safety people............. Absolute failure. The Affordable Care Act is here, GET IT? People want this and will pay for it............ What don't you get?????

    October 9, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  19. Norman Duncan

    I sit here in the suburbs just beyond the Beltway and wonder what Country I live in. The fringe element running the Tea Party are conspiring to defy the Constitution, the people, the President and the DOJ must wake up and take some action to stop this insurrection. I cannot think of a better word as they are challenging every aspect of our democracy. They must realize that universal health care is the norm in all western civilized countries, except ours..

    October 9, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  20. lcp75050

    Don't these fools have something better to do right now than get involved in this mess? I'm very disappointed that with our government in such upheaval that they thought getting involved in an immigration reform march and getting arrested was more important. Shouldn't these fools be at work! I know I can't take off to protest a damn thing but boy, would I like to! Why didn't these fools get maced in the face like all the other law abiding citizens? If it was you or me at this march, we would have been arrested AND maced!

    October 9, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  21. Smokey

    Kabooki theather! Are you kidding me? These lawmakerswill get arrested for Illegal aliens but they won't stand up for World World II Vets? The Democratic Party is one I just don't understand or belong to any longer!!!!

    October 9, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  22. Zach

    How about showing this much enthusiasm for the shutdown and budget reform?

    October 9, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  23. doug

    So let me get this straight, WWII vets can't get into see their memorial, but illegals can march on the National mall with no problem!!!! I think this country has finally said they no longer care about our service members!!!

    October 9, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  24. kaneda

    Ah, Democrats.. do whatever to get hispanic voters. Just like California passed the law letting "ILLEGAL" immigrant to apply for driver license...

    October 9, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  25. MilitaryAF

    ...charges of "crowding, obstructing and incommoding," Hey, this sounds like the GOP in general!

    October 9, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
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