Students arrested at protest

by Hayley O’Brien

Whitworth senior Angeles Solis was one of a dozen people who were arrested Nov. 13 while protesting the slow movement of immigration reform in the House of Representatives. Solis and others were arrested for interference of vehicular traffic and  for ignoring requests by police to disperse. The protest, which took place outside of U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office, located in the Peyton Building in Downtown Spokane, called on Republicans to pass immigration reform.

The protest occurred on National Call-in Day, a nationwide movement to make calls to Congress to push for immigration reform and pressure House Speaker John Boehner.

“ONEAmerica and WashingtonCAN brought this event to Spokane,” Solis said.

This most recent protest was one of a series of events and protests, such as a 10-hour fast that occurred outside McMorris Rodgers’ office this past year, Solis said.

Solis is part of political activist groups OneAmerica and WashingtonCAN, both of which advocate for immigration reform.

“The demonstration was to call on Cathy to do her job and pressure Speaker of the House John Boehner to put the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill to a vote on the House floor,” Solis said. The bill had already passed in the Senate, but Boehner has been deleting the decision to present the bill for a vote, Solis said.

“I’ve been formally trained in civil disobedience and contacted the police before the event, so I was fully aware of the possibility of my arrest,” Solis said.

There were numerous protests with arrests across the nation, with over 100 protesters arrested in the Washington, D.C., including 25 undocumented immigrants, according to the D.C. Police.

Following the arrests and the protesters’ release in Spokane, a petition began circulating around the House of Representatives to garner support for immigration reform, Solis said.

Two other Whitworth students were at the protest. Senior Jennifer Rojas and junior Alma Aguilar participated in the event, but could not be reached for comment.

“I chose to risk arrest because I believe in the futures of my friends, my family and aspiring citizens across the country. I was honored to participate in this civil disobedience,” Solis said.

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