Eight House Democrats were arrested at an immigration rally on the National Mall Tuesday, as part of an effort to call on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Reps. John Lewis (D-GA), Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Al Green (D-TX) were arrested for acts of civil disobedience, Politico reported. At least 100 people were arrested in total, according to the Washington Post.
It is unclear if any of the lawmakers arrested have been released at this time. According to Politicker, Rangel’s office did not know when the Representative would be released as of Tuesday evening. The five House democrats arrested outside of the Sudanese embassy Tuesday afternoon were released shortly after their arrest.
Not all lawmakers in attendance at the rally were arrested. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) both spoke on stage, according to Politico. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) asked Congress to finally pass an immigration bill.
“We’ve heard a lot of lip service and a lot of promises, both political parties have had the chance to solve it, neither have, it’s about time we get it done this year,” Diaz-Balart said.
Although the national mall is closed due to the shutdown, the park service allowed the rally to take place because it was a First Amendment protest, according to USA Today.
Update: The White House released a statement about the immigration rally Tuesday evening, calling on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
“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,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in the 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.”
Update: Gutierrez was released around 7 p.m., according to his office. Lawmakers would all likely be released from jail Tuesday night after paying a $50 fine, a police officer told ThinkProgress.
(Photo courtesy of Rep. Raul Grijalva’s office)