At least eight Democratic members of the US House of Representatives were arrested Tuesday during a massive rally in Washington D.C. seeking to push Republicans to hold a vote on a stalled immigration reform bill.
About 200 people were during the protest.
Police would not identify the lawmakers. But the Associated Press said the representatives were John Lewis of Georgia, Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Joseph Crowley of New York, Charles Rangel of New York, Al Green of Texas, and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.
Police charged all those arrested with “crowding, obstructing and incommoding” under the local laws of the District of Columbia.
Rep. Gutiérrez had earlier said he planned the act of civil disobedience “so the speaker of the House can free Congress and finally pass immigration reform,” according to AP.
The Democratic-controlled Senate passed an immigration bill backed by the White House, which includes billions of dollars for border security as well as a 13-year path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States.
However, most House Republicans have opposed the bill.
Citing the Tuesday rally, the White House issued a statement calling for the House to take up the immigration bill passed by the Senate.
“The enthusiastic demonstration of support for immigration reform this week has proven to Congress that the broad coalition behind commonsense solutions to our nation’s broken immigration laws is as strong as it has ever been,” according to the statement from press secretary Jay Carney.
The nationwide rallies follow events in more than 100 US cities on Saturday to make a similar push for comprehensive immigration reform, according to Politico.