Eight Democrats Arrested During Immigration Protest on National Mall

by Sterling Beard

Eight Democratic members of Congress were arrested today during an immigration protest on the National Mall.

Representatives Joe Crowley, Keith Ellison, Al Green, Raul Grijalva, Luis Gutierrez, John Lewis, Charlie Rangel, and Jan Schakowsky were all arrested after blocking traffic on Independence Avenue, which runs along the southern side of the National Mall. 

Despite the government shutdown and the closure of national parks nationwide, the National Park Service said it was allowing the rally because of the First Amendment rights of the protesting groups, which include immigration-advocacy organizations as well as the Service Employees International Union and AFL-CIO. This was the same justification the Parks Service retroactively gave for allowing WWII veterans into their closed memorial last week.