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Grijalva 'proud' of arrest at Trump Tower protest

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva was arrested during an immigration demonstration at Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday, along with two other members of Congress. Grijalva was taken into custody after protesters blocked traffic outside the building owned the President Donald Trump.

"Let me tell you, I am proud to have been arrested while standing up for what's right," Grijalva said Wednesday. "Under the dark shadow of this administration, it has taken the loud voices of millions of Americans rising together to shed light on the injustices of our nation."

"I stood in front of Trump Tower today with a whole lot of DREAMers, immigrants and Americans to say enough to Trump and his criminalization of our immigrant communities," Grijalva posted on Facebook prior to being arrested.

Also arrested were U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL).

Grijalva, who joined his fellow Democrats and other demonstrators in sitting with a large banner and blocking the street, had his hands zip-tied behind his back and was taken to an NYPD police bus.

Trump was inside the building after delivering a speech at the UN General Assembly earlier in the day.

Grijalva's political campaign confirmed Tuesday that the Southern Arizona congressman had been taken into custody.

"I rallied because DREAMers are my family. They are just as American as any one of us in all ways except one: documentation. DREAMers deserve a home, and a voice, in our great nation," Grijalva said the day after the demonstration.

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The protesters were calling for Congress to pass legislation to protect DREAMers — the nearly 800,000 young people granted a reprieve from deportation under an Obama-era policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Trump announced that he will end the program in six months, and challenged Congress to craft a law instead.

Grijalva was also arrested in a 2013 immigration demonstration.

He was one of eight lawmakers taken into custody with nearly 200 other protesters outside the U.S. Capitol after an October rally to demand congressional action on comprehensive immigration reform.

“It is only a small sacrifice on our part, but it is important to bring attention to this issue,” Grijalva said after his release then. He was held by police for about three hours before paying a $50 fine and being released.

Along with Grijalva, de la Cruz said the other lawmakers arrested in 2013 in Washington, D.C. were Democratic Reps. Joe Crowley and Charlie Rangel of New York, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Al Green of Texas, Luis Gutierrez and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and John Lewis of Georgia.

Grijalva said at the Capitol protest that it was his first time getting arrested “in a while.” He called it little sacrifice when there are still immigrants in this country who are insecure and don’t understand freedom.

“It’s within our rights. It’s civil disobedience, it’s not violence, and it’s protected under our laws,” Grijalva said, before he joined the crowd and got handcuffed.


TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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3 comments on this story

3
17 comments
Sep 20, 2017, 8:03 am
-3 +2

A lawmaker who won’t obey the law.  Great.  Can he be replaced for this?

2
Sep 19, 2017, 4:55 pm
-1 +3

Wait, you mean we can’t just cross the border of any country and create a new life for ourselves? That’s illegal?  When did that happen?

1
43 comments
Sep 19, 2017, 4:08 pm
-1 +7

Excuse me, Nimrod…what part of “challenged Congress to craft a law instead” don’t you get? It’s YOUR effin’ job, Raul. You wanna “protest,” do it in front of the Congressional offices in DC.  Do your job.  Get to work.  Stop wasting taxpayer dollars on your frivolous, symbolic “protests.”  You have become a caricature of a Representative.

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Grijalva, center, after being taken into custody during an immigration protest on Tuesday.