Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) was among those arrested Wednesday during a rally in Washington D.C. to urge Congress to vote on legislation that would protect the ability of young immigrants to work and study in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
Chu’s office confirmed the congresswoman’s arrest to NBC News late Wednesday afternoon, saying it happened at 2:30 p.m. ET. Chu was released an hour later, her office said.
A Capitol Police spokesperson, reached by phone, could not immediately confirm Chu’s arrest. She said they were in the middle of processing a total of 182 arrests.
A statement from Chu’s office said she was charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.” Her office also told NBC News she was given a fine to pay.
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Chu had tweeted Wednesday morning she was prepared to be arrested.
The event began around 1:45 p.m. ET, according to Chu’s office, and was attended by 2,000 young immigrants and their supporters.
It comes as President Donald Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September, created under President Barack Obama. DACA temporarily removed the threat of deportation for undocumented immigrant children and also granted them authorization to work.
As part of a National Day of Action, immigrant and civil rights groups joined business and religious leaders and urged legislators to pass "clean" Dream Act legislation — not tied to any other bill — that would give young teens and adults who have basically grown up in the U.S. the means to remain in the U.S. without fear of removal.
On Wednesday, more than two hundred demonstrators, including immigration community leaders and several members of Congress, staged a sit-in on the U.S. Capitol steps. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) and Chu were among them. In a an act of civil disobedience, they were arrested for refusing to move.
“Our ask is simple: let us vote on the DREAM Act so we can do the right thing for our families, our communities, and our economy,” Chu said in a statement Wednesday night.
Capitol Police told participants who did not want to be arrested to step over to the sidewalk, Chu’s office said. Those taken into custody, who were given multiple warnings about being arrested, were organized into groups of 15 and brought over to a holding pen area, according to Chu’s office.
They were given wristbands instead of being placed in handcuffs, her office said. They were also charged, processed, and handed a ticket for a fine to pay. The dollar amount was not immediately known.
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