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Know Your Rights
Source: USA Today
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Three congressmen arrested outside of Trump Tower during DREAM Act demonstration

Activists sit on Fifth Avenue in an action of civil
Activists sit on Fifth Avenue in an action of civil disobedience near Trump Tower on September 19, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo: Kevin Hagen, Getty Images)

Three Democratic lawmakers were arrested Tuesday outside of Trump Tower in New York as part of a pro-DREAM Act demonstration, their offices confirmed.

Reps. Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Adriano Espaillat of New York were among the 10 people taken into custody and later released, the New York Police Department said. New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was also arrested, police confirmed.

Demonstrators were calling on Congress to pass a clean version of legislation designed to shield DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children.

According to Make the Road New York, the immigration organization that organized the demonstration, the members of Congress marched to Trump Tower with immigrants before blocking traffic on 5th Avenue.

The demonstration comes nearly two weeks after the president announced that he would wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. Since then, Trump has worked closely with Congress on a deal to protect DREAMers.

Gutiérrez, who was arrested last month during a pro-DACA demonstration outside of the White House, said that they wanted to make it clear to Trump, Republicans and Democrats that they would continue to fight for DREAMers and immigrants.

“A few congressmen and elected officials gathering in front of Trump Tower doesn’t mean much if it is not backed up by the grassroots and allies,” he said in a statement. “Today, we are standing with diverse allies to make sure Congress and the president do more than just talk about solutions. They actually follow through with action.”

Espaillat spokeswoman Candace Person said the New York congressmen wanted to show that he was dedicated to “protecting immigrants, immigrant families and their future in America.”

“Since day one, the Trump administration has threatened Latinos, Muslims, LGBT, women and the list continues,” Person said in an email. “His decision to end the DACA program earlier this month increases the urgency of what’s at stake and the lives at risk when we fail to speak out against racism in America.”

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