Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 27), seven Black activists—Mysonne, Tamika D. Mallory, Queen YoNasDa LoneWolf, Melanie Campbell, Rev. Tony Lee, Kirsten John Foy and Dr. Jamal Bryant—were arrested following a protest at Washington D.C.'s Capitol Hill, during which they called for a clean Dream Act, speaking on behalf of undocumented immigrants of color and fighting for legislation to protect those who could be facing potential deportation as a result of the current administration's policy change.
The #ForBlackImmigrants protest was put together by a variety of groups and organizations fighting to protect undocumented immigrants, including Undocu Black Network, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the National Action Network (NAN), Justice League NYC and the Women's March.
While details that led to the arrest of these civil rights leaders are still developing, social media reports share that the activists were arrested outside of Speaker Paul Ryan's office where they engaged in an act of civil disobedience.
With the initial March 5 deadline for the Dream Act fast approaching, the urgency behind today's protest is increasing tenfold, especially considering how Senate has rejected three immigrant proposals that would protect immigrants from facing potential deportation.
As it stands, the parties in Congress need to work together to pass a bill consistent with the views of the country, with a reported 87% of Americans in support of a Dream Act that will allow young immigrants to stay in the country through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections.
Taking to Instagram, Mysonne shared a statement following his arrest, quoting Killmonger from Marvel's Black Panther.
"Thanks for All your prayers and love," he wrote. "We are free from jail but not From injustice.. 'Bury Me in the Ocean with my ancestors who jumped from the ships because they knew death was better than bondage # #KillmongerSpirit #cleandreamact #GangstaButWokeAsFuck."
As exemplified through today's protest, those working tirelessly to advocate for a clean Dream Act, for protecting the Diversity Visa Program and for securing a permanent solution for TPS/DED holders are refusing to be silent and will continue to fight on behalf of immigrants. For more information about how to get involved, see the posts below.
More on this story as it continues to develop.