In a fight for justice, about 115 women were arrested as they rallied for immigration reform on Capitol Hill. According to The New York Times, a large group of women formed a circle right outside Congress’ meeting place on September 12 in an attempt to get the attention of members of the House of Representatives.
As the protesters gathered, they linked arms and situated themselves on Independence Avenue, causing area traffic to stall for 30 minutes. All demonstrators were wearing red shirts that said “Women for Fair Immigration Reform” on the front, The Advocate reported. The women were quickly arrested by police officers. Among those arrested were 25 protesters who do not have legal status to be in the country.
In addition to the protesters, about 300 supporters showed up at the demonstration.
Washington D.C. NBC affiliate WRC reported that many of the undocumented women gathered to urge congressmen to consider immigration reform so they could stay together with their families and avoid deportation. Some of the demonstrators have children born in the U.S. and who are therefore citizens by birth.
“Immigration reform is not just good for women and their families — it’s good for our democracy, good for our economy, and good for America,” protester Rea Carey said in a press conference, according to The Advocate. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. The House must act now and do the right thing for the 11 million undocumented immigrants, over a quarter of a million of whom are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. These people need a real pathway to citizenship and the American Dream now — not the nightmare of gridlock.”
The women arrested were given misdemeanor tickets and fined $50 each. They were released later in the afternoon on Thursday, according to The New York Times. The misdemeanor charges will not affect the legal status of the undocumented women who participated in the protest.