DC Rally ends with over 200 arrested

Posted by: Website Administrator on 10/9/2013
Over 200 arrested in DC rally including Gamaliel leaders and organizers. Keep checking back for more coverage.

Camino Americano

By: Ashmar Mandou

Thousands of activists across the nation descended upon the steps of Capitol Hill for the Camino Americano: March for Immigration Reform on Tuesday, Oct. 8th in a strategic push for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

“For the first time in my 20 years in Congress I know the votes are there. Now there are 30 or 40 Republicans, some estimate as many as 85 Republicans in Congress, who support legalizations and immigration reform in some form,” said Congressman Luis Gutierrez. “They know the power of our vote, they know the popularity of immigration reform, they know the hunger and passion in our community, and yet we still have not seen immigration reform signed into law by the President because other Republicans are holding it up.”

The Camino Americano: March for Immigration Reform featured popular Latino artists, such as Los Tigres del Norte and Lila Downs, members of Congress such as, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Luis Gutierrez, along with immigration reform advocates from labor, civil rights, and faith and community groups, like Director of Gamaliel of Metro Chicago Juan F. Soto who was arrested at the immigration rally.

“The current immigration environment divides families and keeps loved ones apart for years and even decades,” Soto said in a statement. “Real reform includes a path to citizenship, keeps families together, and provides protection for immigrants against abuse of any kind. Liberty should be the norm for everyone. If getting arrested is what it takes to show the House we’re serious, then it’s worth it.”

For 20 years, Soto has directed Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, a 60 year old non-for-profit grassroots organization with a mission to ‘establish policies and practices to bring justice and equity by investing in the development of community leaders through leadership training and action.’

The Camino Americano: March for Immigration Reform was presented by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, CASA de Maryland, the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and many others. The march was a way to demonstrate unity and strength as was evident during the November 2012 presidential election.

“Our communities and our families do not have the luxury to rest or relax. Eleven hundred people will be deported today, eleven hundred people will be deported tomorrow, and the next day,” said Gutierrez. “Those of us who have the piece of paper and peace of mind that ensures our return home tonight to our families must fight for those who do not have that piece of paper or that peace of mind.” Gutierrez continued on sharing his commitment to strengthen the immigration reform movement by working with Republicans in the House in order to accomplish reform this year.

Throughout the month of October civil leaders will host an array of demonstrations to ensure Congress votes and approves immigration reform before the end of this year.

This story originally appeared in the Lawndale Biligual News on October 10, 2013 and is available here:

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