3 Congressmen Arrested At Trump Tower DACA Protest

Each of the three has been outspoken about immigration reform in the U.S.
Posted at 10:57 PM, Sep 19, 2017

Three U.S. Representatives were among the 10 people arrested in front of Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday. They were protesting President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

The Obama-era program protected almost 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Reps. Adriano Espaillat of New York, Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois were arrested after they blocked traffic in the middle of Fifth Avenue and refused to move.

The congressmen are all members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and have histories of being outspoken on immigration reform.

Espaillat, who was born in the Dominican Republic, is the first former undocumented immigrant to serve in Congress. He told CNNin February his childhood fear of facing deportation allows him to identify with those who face similar issues.

Grijalva has been speaking out about immigration rights since at least 2013, when he was arrested with 200 others during an immigration reform protest in Washington, D.C. He's been very critical of President Trump's decision to end DACA, issuing a video response the day of the announcement.

Grijalva said in that video: "Today is a very sad day. A day that is filled with cruelty, filled with the destruction of expectations and hopes on the parts of almost a million young people in the country."

And Gutiérrez has been in Congress for 24 years. In the past, he's proposed legislation to grant amnesty to all undocumented immigrants, not just DACA recipients. That legislation didn't receive much support from either party. Gutiérrez was also arrested for demonstrating outside the White House in August.

All three men were expected to be released later Tuesday. Trump gave Congress six months to come up with an alternative to DACA. If it can't, he said, he'll "revisit" the issue.