This Thursday, June 5th, ten activists from the Pro-Immigration Organization, “United We Dream”, planted themselves down with signs, hollering chants in the middle of a busy intersection near the White House. Their protests called for the halt of deportations of illegal immigrants, smack dab in the middle of traffic, at the corner of 16th and H Streets NW, which would usually prompt police action. Yet this time, D.C. police allowed the protestors to peacefully execute their First Amendment rights.
The group remained on the street for almost four hours telling stories, singing, and chanting until they migrated to just outside the White House, echoing their protests. The activists also referenced the struggles of undocumented LGBTQ immigrants, highlighting the hostile and harsh treatment and attitudes toward homosexuality harbored in their origin countries.
President Obama, in the past, has granted many illegal immigrants who had been brought to the country as children immunity from deportation, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which lent safety and opportunities for those to openly work and live in the U.S. “United We Dream” is protesting to have the same rights and protections extended to the members within their organization.
In the past, the protestors found themselves arrested, fearing for their lives and possessions. Shocked that their protests did not end in imprisonment, Mario Carillo, spokesman for “United We Dream” said the group consisting of people all brought to the U.S. illegally as children “all ended on a really proud moment.”
Photo: European Pressphoto Agency