Almost 600 protesters were arrested Thursday morning inside the Hart Senate Office building in Washington, D.C. Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) was among those arrested for demonstrating inside the building — Capitol Police said no one would have been arrested for protesting outside the building — against President Trump’s immigration policies.
“I was just arrested with 500 + women and @Women’sMarch to say @RealDonaldTrump’s cruel zero-tolerance policy will not continue. Not in our country. Not in our name. June 30 we’re putting ourselves in the street again,” Jaypal tweeted, signaling that the demonstrations in favor of more immigration will not end soon. Protesters attempted to place “Abolish ICE” signs inside the Senate office building, but they were ripped down by Capitol police.
Thursday’s protest was unusual in that a member of Congress — Jaypal was arrested. Jaypal illustrates that many of the pro-immigration protests are an important part of the radical agenda. For example, she is the first vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and formerly the executive director of OneAmerica, a group that favors more immigration.
She is for universal government healthcare and was a supporter of the presidential campaign of avowed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont. Before her election to Congress, Jaypal was a leader in the movement to force businesses to pay a $15 minimum wage in Seattle.
Lest one think that Jaypal is way out of the mainstream of Democratic politics, it should be noted that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has gushed praise for Jaypal, calling her “a rising star in the Democratic caucus.”
The Saturday protest is planned for Lafayette Square, located near the White House. The coalition of the “Families Belong Together” march includes the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), MoveOn.org, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Among the expected speakers is Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the critically-acclaimed play Hamilton. Readers might recall that when Vice President Mike Pence attended the play with his wife recently, he and Trump were verbally castigated from the stage. Supporters of open borders have even attempted to portray Hamilton as some sort of immigrant hero because he was born in the West Indies in the island of Nevis, rather than one of the original 13 colonies that became the United States. But Nevis was part of the British Empire at the time of Hamilton’s birth, and his emigration to the mainland was no different than someone moving from Arkansas to Texas today. Those moving from one part of the British Empire to another part during the colonial era, such as Hamilton, would better be described as settlers, rather than immigrants.
Organizers of the Saturday protest are urging participants to wear white in a display of “unity.”
On Wednesday, officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency were forced to barricade all entrances to the building to prevent pro-immigration protesters from performing an “occupation” of the agency’s headquarters in the nation’s capital.
Barred from entering the building, activists stood in heavy rain and shouted demands that the guards of the Department of Homeland Security and the employees of ICE quit their jobs. Wednesday’s protest was organized by Movimiento Cosecha as a demonstration by “undocumented activists” and their allies.
Alejandra, a Mexican immigrant, who refused to give her full name to the Washington Examiner, said she had entered the U.S. legally, but said ICE is “interrupting our families, our lives.” She explained that the purpose of the protest was to “demand respect for all the immigrants.”
Not surprisingly, she strongly condemned President Trump, but she also included former President Barack Obama in her denunciations. “It’s been going on for years and years, but now that it’s in the public eye it’s hard not to see it. Obama played to the Latin community very well.… People were like, ‘yes, yes, oh Obama,’ but he was the president who deported more people.”
While Alejandra denounced policies designed to control immigration, activists around her chanted slogans like “from Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have gotta go!” Apparently, they contend that Israel should throw open its borders, as well.
After failing to get into the building, the opponents of immigration laws moved to 12th Street, and blocked the road. Police made no effort to clear the intersection while protesters changed “F*** your borders, f*** your walls, we will make your system fall.”
“We shut it down,” one activist shouted proudly of blocking the intersection for motorists who simply wished to exercise their rights to travel freely within the city. Finally, the protest fizzled out.
Of course, shutting down a city street is not the same as “peaceful assembly,” which is a protected right under the First Amendment to the Constitution. But that distinction presumes the protesters respect the Constitution of the United States — which they apparently do not. Section 4 of Article IV of the Constitution requires the federal government to protect the states from invasion. Like the case in so many things, this provision of the Constitution does not fit into the left-wing agenda, and is often ignored.
Image: Screenshot from Wochit Politics video