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House Democrats Arrested During Immigration Reform 2013 Protests: 8 Lawmakers Join Activists in Handcuffs

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First Posted: Oct 09, 2013 10:53 AM EDT
Immigration
Immigration reform has been a hot button issue for many years, but continues to be stonewalled in Congress. (Photo : flickr.com/Ron Cogswell)

What government shutdown?

While the government was busy making little progress in the effort to end the shutdown, immigration activists took advantage of the chance to have some of the spotlight.

After a great deal of time was spent planning immigration protests, activists finally marched on Washington and this time they all went out with a bang. Eight lawmakers who took park in the protests -- all of them Democrats -- blocked traffic while standing silently, as reported by the New York Times.

The lawmakers arrested hailed from many key immigration states around the nation; these states included New York, Minnesota, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, and Georgia. The lawmakers arrested were Joseph Crowle, Charles B. Rangel, Keith Ellison, Al Green, Luis V. Gutierrez, Jan Schakowsky, Raul M. Grijalva, and John Lewis.

The protests at The National Mall were lively and complete with a live Mexican-American band playing music throughout. However, with it being at a national park there were cries from conservative Republicans saying that it was unfair to let people protest at a park when it was supposed to be closed for the government shutdown.

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Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went up on stage and thanked the White House for allowing the groups to stand and express their first amendment rights. "Let's get a vote on the floor," she said.

One of California's Democrats, representative Zoe Lofgren, said there was confusion among people as to what kind of action should be taken towards immigration.

"A huge majority of the American people think we ought to fix the immigration system, and we have the votes to do it," Ms. Lofgren said. "But there is no vote. There is a problem here with the American democracy."

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