A handful of African-American civil rights leaders were arrested Tuesday while demonstrating in front of the Capitol Hill office of House Speaker Paul Ryan in protest of the nation’s immigration policies.
The organization leaders and prominent figures arrested at the scene included Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), Jonathan Jayes-Green of UndocuBlack, Tamika Mallory of Women’s March, Minister Kirsten John Foy of the National Action Network, Jamal Bryant and Rev. Tony Lee.
Campbell said that she joined the protest “to demand a clean Dream Act that protects all undocumented young people, including over 60,000 Black undocumented young people who many were brought here by their parents by no fault of their own.”
The demonstrators called for a permanent solution for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) that includes over 70,000 Black immigrants from Haiti, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia, and for protection of the Diversity Visa Program that allots over 50,000 visas to countries with low immigration rates, including African nations.
“It is inhumane to treat undocumented immigrants, who are a core part of what makes this country great, in such a cruel way by tearing families apart through massive deportation and not making DACA permanent and passing comprehensive immigration reform that is fair for all law-abiding immigrants a priority by leaders in Congress as well as the Trump administration,” Campbell said.