‘The immigrant community has endured a politics of fear from both Democrats and Republicans over the last 20 years’
The Bay Area Coalition for Economic Justice and Citizenship for All said in a press release that they were pushing Democrats to take action to protect immigrant rights as dozens of undocumented immigrants and activist allies risked arrest when their protest shut down northbound traffic on the iconic bridge.
Shortly before 7am, the protesters left their cars carrying banners while chanting, urging Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the US.
Commuters were held back for around an hour as the group asked for immigration reform.
“We are escalating our actions and our undocumented families are risking arrest and possibly deportation to send the message we can no longer wait,” DACA recipient Luis Angel Reyes Savalza told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Some of the activists were issued citations, but it didn’t appear as if anyone was arrested following the civil disobedience.
“The immigrant community has endured a politics of fear from both Democrats and Republicans over the last 20 years, from horrific family separations to for-profit detention which has skyrocketed beyond recognition, inhumane treatment inside detention centres and caging children at the border,” Mr Reyes Savalza told the paper.
The protest, organized by the Movement for Citizenship for All and the Bay Area Coalition for Economic Justice and Citizenship for All, ended shortly before 8am. The activists also mentioned issues such as climate and racial justice. They also argued for a fairer economy.
The protest was intended to take place at the same time as a possible vote in Congress on the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. The activists urged the Democrats to overrule the Senate parliamentarian who ruled that immigration actions in the bill should be removed.
The Bay Area Coalition for Economic Justice and Citizenship for All said in a statement that the “injustice must stop” and that the possibility for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US to become citizens would boost the country’s economy, raise the US’s gross domestic product by a total of $1.7 trillion over the next decade, and create 438,800 new jobs, which they argued would raise pay for both citizens and undocumented workers.
“The time to deliver economic justice, climate justice, and citizenship for all is now,” the group said. “For these reasons, we demand that Vice President Harris and top Democrats in Congress override the decision by the unelected Senate parliamentarian which excludes undocumented immigrants from the budget reconciliation process.”
The Independent has reached out to the Senate Democrats for comment.