Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women’s March, and several other activists were arrested after protesting outside House Speaker Paul Ryan‘s office for DACA reform.
On Tuesday, the protest, which was organized by the UndocuBlack Network, was meant to not only call for a path to citizenship for Dreamers and supporters of the visa lottery program, but also to highlight the experiences of Black immigrants.
Minister Kirsten John Foy of the National Action Network led the protesters in prayer outside of Ryan’s office when they weren’t allowed inside to stage their planned sit-in. The protesters were detained quickly by Capitol police and escorted from the building, according to Newsweek.
Since Black immigrants are often overlooked in the immigration discussion, Foy spoke out prior to his arrest about how important it is to bring their experiences to the table.
“We can’t have an honest discussion about immigration without talking about undocumented Black immigrants,” said Foy. “It seems as though even in discussions regarding immigration, black folks seem to be the least of these.”
Mallory posted images on Twitter ahead of the protest of the activists heading to Ryan’s office, writing, “We are on the move…heading to @SpeakerRyan’s office to deliver our demands for a clean #DreamAct #ForBlackImmigrants.”
— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) February 27, 2018
DACA and the Dreamers
Meanwhile, the national debate rages about how to move forward after President Donald Trump and his administration abruptly removed the protections for Dreamers, or those who were brought into the United States illegally as children.
There is broad support across the nation for a path to citizenship for the Dreamers, but Congress has repeatedly failed to act. This failure has been behind the recent government shutdowns as Democrats attempted to hold Republicans’ feet to the fire and force them to confront the issue.
Two federal court injunctions have also ruled that the Trump administration’s actions on DACA broke the law, but the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case and instead directed it to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The fates of thousands of Dreamers still hangs in the balance as the administration wrings its hands and refuses to act. So until there is some forward motion, protests like this will likely continue.