Washington, DC - Assembly member Adriano Espaillat and City Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito were arrested at an event organized by immigration reform advocates in New York. Also in attendance was immigration reform champion Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who promised to redouble her effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Representative Luis Gutierrez, the author of the House's only introduced immigration legislation, was arrested earlier this month at a protest in front of the White House.
Protestors in New York want President Obama to immediately halt the deportations that tear apart families and to take action to prevent the implementation of Arizona's discriminatory new law. Today's civil disobedience in New York is one of several happening nationwide. Last week in Seattle, protestors stopped traffic and blocked the entrance to a federal building. Tomorrow in Chicago, a city alderman and labor leaders will risk arrest when they march from Federal Plaza to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility.
"We wish more members of Congress had the courage of Assembly member Adriano Espaillat, Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the 35 other New Yorkers arrested today. They're leaders for immigrants and get the magnitude of the crisis facing our country," said Rich Stolz, campaign manager for Reform Immigration FOR America. "Congress must show the political courage to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The longer they delay and make excuses, the more families will be torn apart by our ruinous and cruel immigration system."
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