Photo Essay

  • Attendees march toward the U.S. Capitol during the March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect held at the National Mall in Washington, DC Tuesday October 8, 2013.
  • A group of revelers watch the March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect held at the National Mall in Washington, DC Tuesday October 8, 2013. A group of civil rights leaders and faith leaders including Rep. Luis Gutierrez would later be arrested by police.
  • Dani Noble, of Atlantic City, New Jersey, left, dances with Angel Vargas from the Bronx, New York, during the March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect held at the National Mall in Washington, DC Tuesday October 8, 2013. The duo was representing Unite Here!, a service workers advocacy group.
  • A group of civil rights leaders and faith leaders including Rep. Luis Gutierrez (center) march toward the U.S. Capitol during the March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect held at the National Mall in Washington, DC Tuesday October 8, 2013. The group would later be arrested by police.
  • Rep. Luis Gutierrez greets a fan during the March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect held at the National Mall in Washington, DC Tuesday October 8, 2013.
  • Revelers cheer near the U.S. Capitol Tuesday October 8, 2013. A group of civil rights leaders and faith leaders including Rep. Luis Gutierrez would be arrested by police after marching on the Hill.
  • A woman, representing Unite Here!, a service workers advocacy group is arrested at the U.S. Capitol after marching with civil rights leaders, faith leaders and congressmen during the March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect held at the National Mall in Washington, DC Tuesday October 8, 2013.
  • Revelers cheer near the U.S. Capitol Tuesday October 8, 2013. A group of civil rights leaders and faith leaders including Rep. Luis Gutierrez would be arrested by police after marching on the Hill.
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PHOTOS: Congressmen arrested during march for immigration reform

Updated

Thousands of protestors gathered at the National Mall on Tuesday to demand Congress, currently mired in a shutdown and default crisis, finally get around to passing immigration reform. 

The rally, which was organized by a coalition of immigrant rights groups and labor unions, featured speeches from dozens of politicians. Among the speakers was Nancy Pelosi, who recently joined Democratic members in introducing a new comprehensive immigration bill modeled on the Senate’s already-passed proposal. Many attendees carried signs or chanted slogans encouraging the House to hold a vote on the bipartisan Senate bill, which would have provided an earned path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants over a 13-year period.

Several members of Congress joined leaders of pro-reform groups in engaging in civil disobedience at the event, leading to their arrest.  Democratic members Charles Rangel, Al Green, Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez, John Lewis, Raul Grijalva, Joe Crowley and Keith Ellison were removed in plastic cuffs after blocking a street as onlookers cheered “Si se puede!” 

Republican leaders have indicated an interest in pursuing immigration reform this year, but have yet to settle on a plan for how to proceed. In particular, the caucus has yet to reach a consensus on whether to grant a path to legal status and eventual citizenship to the estimated 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants living in the country today. With recent battles over Syria, health care, and the debt ceiling, eating up both time and political capital, immigration activists are hoping they can pressure the GOP into revisiting reform – or face the political consequences.