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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Oregon Immigrant Rights Leaders Arrested in Washington D.C Protesting Unjust Immigration Policies and Inaction

Oregon Immigrant Rights Leaders and over 30 others Arrested in Washington D.C Protesting Unjust Immigration Policies and GOP’s Inaction on Path to Citizenship for Immigrant Families

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Ramon Ramirez, President of PCUN Farmworkers Union and Board President

PCUN President/Causa Board President Ramon Ramirez being
arrested today outside the U.S. Capitol protesting the GOP's 
inaction on Immigration Reform (photo credit: Greg Delgado)
of Causa Oregon, and Reyna Lopez, Causa's  Director of Civic Engagement, were arrested with over 30 other immigrant rights, labor, faith and other leaders on Capitol Hill protesting unjust immigration policies and the House GOP’s inability to pass a bill that contains a pathway to citizenship and keeps families together.

Civil disobedience actions were held on Capitol Hill to send the strongest message possible to House GOP leaders that the fight for immigrant families has been escalated and will continue through the August recess and into the fall until the House produces a comprehensive bill that creates a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Today’s actions in D.C. are the start of many nationwide activities that will be held to continue putting pressure on House GOP lawmakers. Over the August recess, the groups will participate in “40 Days of Action” to make sure Republicans don’t forget the urgency of passing immigration reform. The actions represent an escalation in the fight for immigrant families and a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

This morning, Ramon Ramirez was arrested with a group of advocates who blocked traffic at the intersection of First Street and Independence Avenue Southeast by the House Cannon Office Building. Participants chanted, sang and held banners demanding the end to the immoral separation of families. Reyna Lopez was arrested with a second group this afternoon that were protesting inside the Capitol Building in front of House Speaker Congressman John Boehner's (R-OH) office.

Ramirez released the following statement this afternoon:
Today I was arrested in Wash DC with other leaders of Immigrants rights movement including Reyna Lopez, Director of Civic Engagement of CAUSA and Giev Kashkooli, Vice President of UFW. We did it because the people are tired of waiting and sick of the House Republican leadership of saying no. In Oregon we, will do the same to Rep Greg Walden if he keeps saying no to immigration reform with a path to CITIZENSHIP. Si Se Puede!
In response to today's action and arrests, Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) released the following statement. (originally posted at El Hispanic News)
“Ramon Ramirez and a number of others were taken into custody today by Capitol Police during a demonstration in Washington. The group was voicing their warranted frustration at the total obstruction by House Republicans as Congress attempts to pass comprehensive immigration reform. I have contacted Capitol Police to find out more details about what happened and was told the group is being processed for ‘Blocking Passage’ and should be released today. I intend on staying on top of the situation and will do anything I can. 
“I fully stand with Ramon and all supporters in calling on House Leadership to tackle this critical issue swiftly and in a bipartisan fashion—much like the Senate was capable of doing in June. The time is ripe for Congress to rectify our broken immigration system for the sake of millions of hardworking immigrants and their families, who should be afforded the opportunities to succeed and contribute to our great nation and the freedoms it provides.”
House GOP members have not only failed to act on a pathway to citizenship, but have instead let the most conservative and anti-immigrant GOP members take the lead in the debate, prompting advocates to turn to non-violent direct action to address the moral crisis of the broken immigration system.

Causa is urging people to call 866-930-3396 to be connected with their Representative and tell them we need an immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship. Stand with the leaders who were arrested today.


VIDEO: Ramon Ramirez being arrested protesting unjust immigration policies and GOP’s Inaction on Path to Citizenship for Immigrant Families

VIDEO: Video of Sit-in in front of the U.S. Capitol:


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