Three congressional Democrats and the head of the New York City Council were arrested Tuesday in front of Trump Tower as they protested President Donald Trump’s rollback of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Reps. Adriano Espaillat, who represents portions of Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx, Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois and Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona were among the elected officials who were arrested shortly after 12:40 p.m. as they staged a sit-in in front of the Fifth Avenue skyscraper to call attention to the Obama-era program -- set to expire -- that has shielded thousands of undocumented immigrant students and young adults brought to the U.S as minors from deportation.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was also arrested as the lawmakers and about a dozen protesters with Make the Road New York sat side by side along Fifth Avenue, blocking traffic between approaching East 57th Street.
They urged Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress to renew DACA and offer those enrolled a path to citizenship.
"We have to protect all immigrants," Mark-Viverito said at the start of the protest, adding that Trump's immigration agenda "is ripping families apart."
The sit-in was part of a rally organized by Make the Road NY, an immigration advocacy group, that drew dozens of other protesters who chanted "DACA yes! Raids no!" in front of Trump's namesake tower.
Last week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced they had reached a deal with Trump that would revive the program in exchange for Democrats' support of increased border security funding. Schumer has said the increased funding will not include money for Trump's proposed southern border wall.
White House officials have pushed back, saying no deal has been reached.