United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodríguez was one of 181 protestors arrested on Dec. 6th, while engaging in civil disobedience on Capitol Hill to demand the Republican-controlled Congress honor commitments to enact legislation letting Dreamers stay in the U.S. after Donald Trump ended the DACA program in September and turned over resolution of the issue to lawmakers. The bipartisan Dream Act would provide relief from deportation for nearly 800,000 Dreamers.
At mid-afternoon, a group broke away from thousands of demonstrators and sat side by side on the steps of the Capitol building. Rodríguez helped hold up a banner calling for quick enactment of the Dream Act and was taken into custody along with 180 others. Police officers ran out of handcuffs. Those arrested were processed and taken to a holding center in Washington. Rodríguez and most of the others arrested were later released. It was the largest act of civil disobedience yet organized by immigrant rights groups.
Earlier in the day Rodríguez joined a delegation of 11 UFW Foundation members who traveled from Salinas, Oxnard and the Central Valley for the U.S. Capitol demonstrations. All but one are DACA recipients who are or have been working in the fields or are the children of farm workers. UFW Foundation members for months have been pressing U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) to sign the discharge petition that would require GOP leaders to permit a vote on the House floor over the Dream Act. More info: ufw.org.
by Jocelyn Sherman
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