Nuns, priests and faith leaders arrested

Thirty or forty nuns, priests and faith leaders were among those arrested on Capitol Hill – the seat of the U.S. government – on Tuesday.

They were calling on lawmakers to support bipartisan immigration legislation that makes permanent protections available to Dreamers.

About 1.8 million Dreamers stand to lose the protection offered by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme.

Many protesters said they had no option but to participate in the act of civil disobedience and speak out against the failure of Congress and the Trump administration to help the Dreamers.

“I have never been arrested in my life, but with the blessing of my community, I am joining with two dozen other Catholic sisters and Catholic allies to risk arrest today as an act of solidarity … ” Dominican Sister Elise Garcia said.

“To our leaders in Congress and in the White House, I say ‘arrest a nun, not a Dreamer.'”

Jesuit Father Thomas Reese said: “They [Dreamers] are our students, sitting in our classrooms, they are our parishioners, kneeling in our churches.

“They are our friends, they are our colleagues who have invited us into their homes.

“It is time for the people who work in that [the Capitol] building to realise this is a moral issue. It is a justice issue, and the political gamesmanship must stop.”

Mercy Sister JoAnn Persch, who was one of eight Mercy sisters arrested, said frustration led her to be part of the protest.

“My prayer, my work for comprehensive immigration reform has had no impact on this administration,” she said.

“I stand with Dreamers now at this moment of truth, which to me is a moral issue.

“When these traditional strategies we have used have no impact, we have to move to action that could involve taking a risk to disrupt this unjust system in some way.”

Many of those who risked arrest, joined hands, singing hymns and praying.

Bishop Stowe said: “We stand with the Dreamers, we are one with the Dreamers. And now I ask God’s blessing upon those who are acting in civil disobedience, part of a long-standing tradition of not supporting unjust laws.”

Shortly after, they were arrested, handcuffed and led away, some praying, some singing.

They were charged with disorderly conduct, crowding, incommoding and obstruction.

They were all released by late Tuesday afternoon.

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News category: World.

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