Chicago Congressmen Arrested in Immigration Reform Protest

By Nana Aduba-Amoah

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.arrested at immigration reform protest in Washington. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.arrested at an immigration reform protest in Washington. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Two Chicago-based Democrat Congress officials, Luis Gutierrez of Chicago and Jan Schakowsky of Evanston, were some of the nearly 200 people arrested in the immigration reform protests in Washington on Tuesday, October 8th.

The rally was organized to push forward ideas for immigration reform. Protesters pressed the house GOP leaders to examine the immigration reform bill that was already passed by Senate in June. The legislation promised more rights for undocumented immigrants such as visa programs, improved border security, and requirement for employers to track immigration status and help employees with their process.  This bill could grant citizenship to about 11 million undocumented immigrants, and give “dreamers” — or young, undocumented immigrants– the chance to earn their green card in about five years. However, none of that can be made possible unless the House GOP leaders formulate a vote in order to pass this legislation.

Furthermore, politicians such as House speaker, John Boehnor, are unwilling to approve a vote on passing this legislation. House Democrats even introduced their own immigration proposal last month, fearing the Republicans would stall on voting for the legislation, however it was dismissed by the GOP.

Furthermore, politicians such as House speaker, John Boehnor, are unwilling to approve a vote on passing this legislation. House Democrats even introduced their own immigration proposal last month, fearing the Republicans would stall on voting for the legislation, however it was dismissed by the GOP.

The immigration reform protesters flooded the streets of Washington, marching from the National Mall to the front of the Capitol Hill building, holding signs that called for “respect” and “dignity.”  Gutierrez and others were arrested for sitting down on the sidewalk during the protest and refusing to move when asked by police.

Schakowsky’s spokeswoman, Sabrina Sing, told the SunTimes that despite the arrest, the Congresswoman was proud to rally for immigration reform.

“Rep. Schakowsky stood in solidarity with her colleagues and immigrant rights advocates to demand a House vote on comprehensive immigration reform. She participated in civil disobedience to urge Republican leadership to bring this critical bill for a vote,” Singh said.

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