Washington, DC - In Indianapolis, labor and civil rights leaders gathered at Veterans Memorial Plaza to bolster the economic argument for comprehensive immigration reform and to denounce Arizona's discriminatory new law. In Philadelphia, activists demonstrated their anger at the Obama administration for its inaction on immigration reform with a march from Independence hall to the 6th street Federal Building. In Chicago, 32 labor, business, faith and community leaders were arrested outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field. The leaders risked their freedom to draw attention to the economic benefits of passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation and protest the enforcement-only measures that are separating families and destroying communities. In Los Angeles, Seattle, Milwaukee, Washington D.C., and Baltimore activists have taken over buildings, blocked traffic and gotten arrested.
Earlier this week at an event in New York, 37 activists, including two elected officials, were arrested in protest of inaction on immigration reform. The events in Philadelphia, Chicago and Indianapolis are leading up to even more mobilizations and acts of civil disobedience on May 29th, a national day of solidarity with Arizona.
The rallies and actions are meant to put a spotlight on the high costs, in human suffering and family separation that is a direct result of federal in action on immigration reform. Without federal legislative action, the mass deportations will continue, and more states will pass band aid discriminatory fixes like Arizona's new law. All over the country, citizens and non-citizen alike are saying: Enough! The time for delay and excuses is over. Washington needs to do it's job and lead on immigration reform.
"Immigrant rights advocates and community leaders from across the country are escalating their campaign by engaging in civil disobedience, non-compliance and other acts of non-violent resistance," said Rich Stolz, Campaign Manager of Reform Immigration FOR America. "Where is the leadership from our elected officials? Where is the urgency? We wont rest until the President and the Congress keep their promise and finally fix the broken immigration system."
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