Three Democratic congressmen were arrested Tuesday outside Trump Tower in New York as part of a protest of President Trump’s decision to end legal protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.
Those arrested also included New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who is Puerto Rican and widely considered among New York political observers to be a future mayoral or congressional candidate.
“We’re taking the necessary steps to make it clear to President Trump, the Republicans and the Democrats that we will continue this peaceful fight for DREAMers and immigrants as long as it takes to enact legislation and put DREAMers in a safe place,” Gutiérrez said in a statement provided by his spokesman after the arrest. “A few Congressmen and elected-officials gathering in front of Trump Tower doesn’t mean much if it is not backed up by the grassroots and allies and today we are standing with diverse allies to make sure Congress and the President do more than just talk about solutions, they actually follow through with action.”
Gutiérrez is among the most emotional advocates for comprehensive immigration reform and has been a strident critic of Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era executive action that granted temporary legal protection to hundreds of thousands of young “dreamers,” or children of illegal immigrants.
Espaillat, a former undocumented immigrant, and Grijalva, who represents parts of southern Arizona, are also strong critics of Trump’s decision.
Trump is in New York on Tuesday to address the U.N. General Assembly and to meet with other world leaders. He spent Monday night at his high-rise home on Fifth Avenue.
The protest Tuesday outside Trump’s home was organized by Make The Road New York, a progressive, immigrants’ rights group.
The arrests come a day after dozens of protesters loudly shouted down House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during a San Francisco event designed to call for the immediate passage of the Dream Act, a bill created to permanently grant protections to dreamers.
Pelosi, Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed last week to work toward a bipartisan deal that would lead to passage of the Dream Act and bolstered security measures along the U.S. border with Mexico.