Dozens of protesters, including an Arizona state lawmaker, were arrested in Washington, D.C. yesterday after conducting a "sit-in" at the offices of the Democratic National Committee, blocking entrance to the building and chanting about immigration reform at passers-by.
According to the Tuscon Sentinel, many of the protesters, who formed a barrier surrounding DNC headquarters and blocking nearby Independence Avenue while dressed in pajamas to represent being "DREAMers," had to be forcibly removed by D.C. police officers after refusing to disperse.
Among the protesters was Arizona's first "formerly illegal" immigrant legislator, Arizona State Rep. Isela Blanca, as well as a handful of DACA recipients.
The DREAMers and their allies were at the DNC specifically to issue a rebuke to the Democratic Party, whom they claim has lied to them for decades, promising immigration reform but failing to deliver. In this case, the protesters specifically want a "clean" DACA extension, which grants amnesty to young people brought to the United States by their illegal immigrant parents, but without concessions that might improve border security or fund a border wall.
"For years I've been told that Republicans aren't my friends, and they don't care about my community," said one DREAMer.
"I'm here to say 'no,'" he continued. "I'm withdrawing from the Democratic Party. I will not be working on any other campaigns. I will not be advocating for Democrats until something happens for my brothers and sisters."
"I went down to the DNC and I took back what they stole from me and I took back my dignity and I took back my humanity!" said another.
The protesters rounded out their demonstration with a chant, "Too many years, too many lies!" referencing a nearly 12 year span between Democrats' initial promise of immigration reform and DACA expiration.
So far this year, Democrats have been confident in their electoral outlook, planning to resume control of the House of Representatives after November's mid-term election. But with massive breakdowns within the party, the Democratic primaries may be in real danger.