The issue of immigration reform has become a hot political topic and is gaining a large global audience. Many people are becoming aware of the unfair treatment and unjust policies that affect the undocumented immigrant community in the United States. Even young people have shed their fear of the police and are staging acts of civil disobedience throughout the country as a show of support for disenfranchised immigrants.
On April 30, groups of civilians who support undocumented immigrants gathered outside the U.S. capitol. They held up signs that read “Stop Separating Families” and blocked traffic at the intersection of Independence and New Jersey avenues, protesting Congress’ inability to agree on any real type of immigration reform. The group, which consisted of several youths and approximately 20 additional family members of the minors wore matching red and white T-shirts. They linked arms to show solidarity and raise awareness of the injustices suffered by undocumented immigrants. The protesters sat down for only a few minutes before U.S. Capitol Police arrived at the scene and began to arrest them. For Yahir Servin, an 11-year-old resident of Alabama, the issue of immigration hits close to home.
“Although I’m a U.S. citizen, I’m doing this because my dad needs immigration reform,” he said in a statement. “I don’t want any other kids to have to live with fear of losing their dad to deportation like I do.”
As the youths sat down to protest Congress’ inaction, members of the House of Representatives were reminded by Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, to have a sense of urgency when it comes to creating more comprehensive immigration laws. Time is quickly running out for members of the House to make progress on immigration reform as the legislative calendar year comes to a close in following months.