The seven children who were arrested yesterday for sitting in the centre of a busy intersection outside of the US Capitol all have one thing in common with each other; deportation has separated their families. The children were flown to Washington to join in with the protest held by the Center for Community Change, an immigrant rights organization. Scores of onlookers and supporters attended the protest and 25 people in total were arrested, including the seven children.
The teenagers and pre-teens yelled “Boehner, Boehner, don’t lock us in a chamber” in a reference to John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and “the youth will never be divided” in flooded streets and pouring rain, with their calls being echoed by the adult protestors.
Earlier on Wednesday children spent some time learning about the art of protest and how to be placed under arrest for civil disobedience. The goal is, yet again, to put pressure on Republicans in the House of Representatives to finally get moving on the issue of immigration reform. Last year the Senate passed a bill for comprehensive immigration reform which would enable undocumented immigrants to eventually apply for US citizenship, but some Republicans in the House continue to refuse such a measure.
As a result of the intransigence of these Republicans, President Barack Obama is now being pressured by immigrant advocates to circumvent the truculent party and ease or entirely halt deportations by making use of his executive powers.