Park Service allows immigration rally on 'closed' National Mall
October 8th, 2013
02:47 PM ET
9 years ago

Park Service allows immigration rally on 'closed' National Mall

(CNN) - Despite the closure of the National Mall and monuments during the partial government shutdown, immigration advocates are holding a rally and concert. And some conservatives are crying foul.

The protestors, who are holding a march in favor of comprehensive immigration reform Tuesday, which is stalled in a stalemated Congress, are allowed to rally on the closed mall under their First Amendment rights, the National Park Service told CNN.

"Under the same First Amendment rights that are allowing Honor Flight veterans and their families to visit the veterans memorials on the National Mall, other groups will be granted access to the park for First amendement activities," spokesman Michael Litterst said.

Conservative groups have voiced outrage that the rally is allowed to take place. They said there is a double standard as veterans were locked out of the World War II Memorial last week after the government shutdown.

"[T]he Democratic Administration looks immensely foolish and ham-handed in this one," Roy Beck, head of NumbersUSA, an anti-immigrant organization, said in a statement.

Republican members of Congress aided the veterans and removed the barriers to allow the veterans to enter.

The National Park Service has furloughed more than 20,000 employees around the country, including about 300 employees who work on the mall. The agency, however, says the U.S. Park Police, which is responsible for policing the event, are not affected by the shutdown and are working "at full protect life and property."

The Camino Americano: Concert and March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect is hosted by local and national Latino groups and two major unions - the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO.

Filed under: Government Shutdown • Immigration
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Ransom?? What American president has every used that rhetoric against their own American people? This president is deranged, dangerous, and evil."

    Seeing as how it's the first time the minority party in congress has held the gov't hostage and the debt ceiling hostage in order to demand ransom, it's not surprising that this may be the first time a POTUS has had to say it. The shoe fits, Jethro. Cry more.

    October 8, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "When you pick illegals before WWII vets, "

    The WWII vets were allowed to go into the memorial, numbskull. The Parks people are actually treating these groups equally.

    October 8, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. kirk

    Tea party, the Republican parasite

    October 8, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC


    Just another example of how Obama and the Dums put illegals before American citizens. When you pick illegals before WWII vets, something is drastically wrong with this country. How bout rounding up all those at this rally, checking their immigration status and deporting them. Sad that criminals can gather and make "demands:" and pols like Pelosi applaud them.
    Maybe if the Tea Party hadn't furloughed the INS agents, then maybe there would be someone available for the round up.

    October 8, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. tom l

    Day 1: "OMG OUTRAGE!!!! They won't let veterans into the WWII Memorial!!!! Let's go yell at park rangers who are just doing their job and aren't in charge of making the decisions!!!! This is horrible and all Obama's fault!!!! He's trying to punish our veterans!!!! Where's the nearest MSM microphone willing to help me broadcast my talking points!!!!!!! I'm not trying to milk an issue involving people who I think tend to vote for the GOP!!!! This is serious!!!!"

    Day 2: "OMG OUTRAGE!!!! They allowed a group I don't agree with to have their rally on the National Mall!!!!! This is horrible and all Obama's fault!!!! He's showing favoritism for the people he thinks vote for him!!!!! Where's the nearest MSM microphone so I can spew my talking points into it and they can help me broadcast it!!!!! I'm not trying to milk an issue just because I oppose the position of the people involved, who I believe tend to vote for Dems!!!!"

    Any questions?

    Nope. You answered it pretty concisely. The President decided to allow his friends to do what he would not allow others to do. It's pretty clear that the administration decided to make the govt shutdown as difficult as possbile BUT then allowed his friends to use a place that should have never been closed in the first place. Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad you can see the blatant hypocrisy of both those would be whining as they did in your quotes AS WELL AS that same hypocrisy in our President.

    October 8, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    Any USA citizen that would vote for a rethug for ANY reason is absolutley unAmerican.

    October 8, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. RIchard Long

    Message to US citizens from the Obama Regime:

    Criminal Immigrants who entered the country, in direct violation of US Code 8 Section 1325, are more important than you.

    October 8, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    Where does tyhis article say anything about illegal aliens? Where does this article quote Obama (one poster cried foul about Obama's rhetoric - like they know what that means)? Why is it okay to open this up to one group, but stop another (the veteran's got to visit... and if they didn't it would be because the republicants have shut the government down, not Obama)?
    Some of you folks need to put your partisanship aside and remember you are Americans. Some of you like to describe yourself as 'Patriots', when you are far from that. Patriots do not shut down the greatest country in the world because they failed to democratically stop a bill they didn't like from becoming law.

    October 8, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. smith

    Reading these comments you can really see the hate,intolrance, racist, angry, illmannered, and dumb views of today`s liberal. The conservatives are half-stupid themselves but not even close to the bad charcter of these folks

    October 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Data Driven

    Open it up to some, you gotta open it up to all.

    "You see what happens, Larry? You see what happens when you" etc etc too dirty for the Ticker - John Goodman, "The Big Lebowski"

    October 8, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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