On August 1, 2013, over forty immigration activist were arrested in Capitol Hill after blocking traffic. At the time, Congress was preparing to take a five week summer recess. Immigration Reform has not passed in the House. The activist included the United Farm Workers and AFL-CIO, among other immigration groups and unions. The activists marched towards the Capitol waiving banners. The march turned to civil disobedience when activists sat in the street and joined hands blocking traffic.
The activists were then arrested and led away by police. The police said in a statement that the charge of arrest was blocking passage. Some democratic lawmakers joined the activists for the march but did not engage in the civil disobedience of blocking traffic. Largely, the purpose of the march and sit down was to keep pressure on the House GOP to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Although passed in the Senate in March, immigration reform has not passed in the House. Many of the resistant House Republicans are opposed to granting citizenship to those who entered without inspection, for example border crossings at Nogales or San Ysidro. Also, many House Republicans are opposed to granting citizenship for those who overstayed visas.
The activists goal is to keep public pressure on the House during the August recess, believing that such pressure could be critical to passage in the House.
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