Activist Sonny Garcia of Bloomington says it's important to turn up the heat on the Obama administration over the immigration issue.
"We are letting the administration know that his base needs him to do something on this. He promised something in his first year of administration when they had control of both the House and the Senate and nothing happened. We've been waiting. We supported him, and we need him to do everything in his power to ease the suffering."
Garcia, of Illinois People's Action, was arrested outside the White House over the weekend for staging a sit-in with signs.
"It's not something I planned on doing my whole life, but it's something I feel is necessary."
He says it was relatively low stress for him.
It was pretty much just sitting down in protest in front of the White House, which is illegal if you are holding a sign. And we were doing both. 12 of us took those arrests.
But, for the six women in the group taken into custody who were undocumented immigrants, the incident carried more risk.
"I was really really moved and impressed by the courage of my sisters in this struggle who are undocumented and took that stand. Because I am a citizen and they are the true leaders and the true soldiers of this movement."
Even with Congress unwilling to move immigration reform legislation, Garcia says the President could sharply reduce deportations through executive orders. Garcia says families are being split up through deportations. He says most deportations do not involve violent criminals. Garcia says there will be more direct action on the immigration issue later this year including an event planned in Chicago.
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