Two candidates for the Democratic nomination to run for Congress in the 1st District were arrested Monday in a pro-Dream Act demonstration, their campaign representatives confirmed.
Randy Bryce of Caledonia, Cathy Myers of Janesville and about 20 others were arrested in the protest, campaign representatives said.
The Milwaukee-based group Voces de la Frontera organized the “#DreamActNow” demonstration, according to the group’s website and tweets.
Monday was chosen for the demonstration because the date had been set as a deadline for passage of the Dream Act, which could have created a path to citizenship or at least legal residency for about 3.6 million U.S. residents who were brought to this country illegally as children, known as Dreamers.
The demonstration took place at Monument Park, near the office of Rep. Paul Ryan, the 1st District representative and speaker of the House.
Myers campaign manager Dennis Hughes said a sign on the door of Ryan’s office said it was closed on the “recommendation of law enforcement officials,” but he said the demonstration was peaceful.
Hughes said Myers joined the demonstration after being invited by a Dreamer from Racine.
Myers said she and others engaged in civil disobedience by sitting in a circle in the middle of an intersection.
They were handcuffed and released after about 30 minutes and given citations for obstructing traffic and court dates, Myers said.
The organizers said on Twitter they were asking Ryan to get a “clean” Dream Act passed. A clean bill is described as one that does not include funding for various add-ons favored by conservatives, including a border wall and additional funding for immigration enforcement.