For Immediate Release: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
Contact: Donna De La Cruz, email@example.com, 202-339-9331, 202-441-3798 (cell)
Capitol Police Officer Yells at Them for Singing, Threatens Arrest
WASHINGTON – Nearly 50 children staged peaceful protests in Republican congressional offices today to ask members of Congress to pass immigration reform that will keep their families together. As one group of children sang Christmas carols in front of Speaker Boehner’s locked office door, a Capitol Police officer ordered them to stop singing and threatened to arrest them.
“This is a place of business and we do not sing in the hallway. Comprende?,” the officer said. Then, adding a few seconds later, “This is getting old real fast. I’m done. I’m going to start making arrests.”
As Gabriel Arista, 6, with North Carolina’s Latin American Coalition astutely commented, “We did not see that man’s good side today.”
The children are part of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement’s (FIRM) Youth In Action campaign, having traveled from across the country to tell their personal stories directly to Congress. During the visits today, the kids were often ignored by congressional staff, but they did get to speak directly with Republican Reps. Scott Tipton of Colorado and Michael Grimm of New York.
This week, kids from around the country descended on Washington to demand action on immigration reform. This morning, kids and their parents visited the offices of House Republicans to try to meet with them, tell their stories of family separation, and ask for their support. Many of the kids were snubbed, ignored, turned away, and even escorted out by Capitol Police, but no group was disrespected more than the group of children that attempted to visit Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office.
Kids came to the office bearing homemade Christmas cards, singing, “We pray for Speaker Boehner, we pray for Speaker Boehner, we pray for Speaker Boehner, bring a vote for reform.” Two Capitol police officers break into the group, yelling, “This is getting old real fast. This is a place of business and we do not tolerate singing in the hallway, comprende?”
The officer’s harsh words were met with terrified stares from the small children, which included six-year-old Gabriel Arista of North Carolina, and seven-year-old Michelle Catano of California. Organizers comfort and reassure the children, and apologize to the officers, telling them, “We’re going to pray quietly; we’re not going to sing.”
The officer responds by telling her again that “this...
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013
For English language Media:
Donna De La Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-339-9331, 202-441-3798 (cell)
For Spanish language Media:
Ricardo Ramírez, email@example.com, 202-339-9371, 202-905-1738 (cell)
(WASHINGTON)—Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) groups nationwide are participating in the “Fast for Families” to support comprehensive immigration reform. The fast began on Nov. 12 in Washington, DC, but support for the fasters has prompted nationwide solidarity events including over a dozen led by FIRM groups.
“FIRM is proud and honored to join the fast, in part to send a message to Members of Congress who have steadfastly refused to support immigration reform with a vote this year that going without food is a small sacrifice to make in order to achieve comprehensive immigration reform for 11 million undocumented people,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos. “FIRM members know all too well how much heartbreak and suffering millions of families have endured under the current broken immigration system.”
Some fasters, including DJ Yoon, Executive Director of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), began fasting on Nov. 12. NAKASEC is a FIRM member. Gina Sanchez, a member of the FIRM group Promise Arizona (PAZ), Lucy Tzunun of the FIRM group Make The Road...