When it comes to having decent interactions with immigrants and advocates, House GOP leaders are not having a great week. They’ve already locked visitors out of their (public) offices and cut off a 9-year-old girl who tried to ask Eric Cantor if he could help with her dad’s deportation (“I can’t help you. Nice to see you,” Cantor dismissed). Now, they’re threatening to have small children arrested.
Some 40 children with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement’s Youth in Action campaign visited Capitol Hill today to serenade GOP offices with songs and Christmas carols for immigration reform. At Speaker Boehner’s office, the young advocates slipped handmade holiday cards under his locked office door and sang “we pray for Speaker Boehner to bring a bill to a vote” to the tune of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” That was when Capitol police showed up, shouted that singing was not allowed, and threatened to start arresting the children if they did not stop. As the officer said:
Warning number one. That’s all you get. This is getting old REAL fast. I’m not going to tolerate it. This is a place of business and we do NOT sing in the hallway. Comprende?
Watch the video below:
At Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office, it was a Cantor staff member who called the police on a group of children singing to the tune of David Guetta’s “Titanium.”
“Everybody who stays in this room may be arrested,” a different officer made clear to 15 children in the room, some of whom began crying during the confrontation.
Watch the video:
Ultimately, no children were arrested, and the Capitol Police later put out the below statement:
The Department is reviewing the incident and wants to assure the public that the U.S. Capitol Police welcomes daily all people to visit and lawfully express their First Amendment rights.
Further, it is the mission of the U.S. Capitol Police and the basic training of our employees to treat all who visit the U.S. Capitol Grounds with dignity and respect.
What is the House GOP leadership so afraid of, that they’re willing to force the arrest of young children who are just trying to ask for their support on immigration reform?