Immigration activists arrested outside Schumer’s office, group says

A group pushing immigration reform said two dozen of its members briefly took over the office Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday to protest what they say is the slow pace of efforts to get an immigration bill in Congress. Several were arrested outside the office.

CASA in Action said its members hung a banner in the Hart Senate Office building, targeting Schumer's office as the lead Democrat on the Senate's bipartisan group working on introducing legislation.

The action took place a day after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) publicly complained that the so-called Gang of Eight is taking too long to agree on legislation and their delay means his committee will not be able to approve legislation in April, as he hoped.

CASA in Action said it had given the group a March 21 deadline to produce legislation and the group had failed to meet it.

“There are 11 million people, and the tens of millions more who know and love them, waiting for Congress to act,” said CASA in Action organizing director Gustavo Andrade in a statement.  “Get it done now.”

A spokesman for Schumer said the senator made brief remarks to the protesters outside his office--telling them “We’re on your side.” In a statement Thursday, Schumer insisted the group is making progress and nearing a deal on the complex topic.

"The group remains on pace to complete a deal by the end of the month," he said. "In fact, we are very very close to a final agreement. We hope the committee will take up the bill in April."

Rosalind Helderman is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for the Washington Post.
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