Nearly 40 people were arrested today during an act of civil disobedience in Lower Manhattan meant to rally against Arizona's immigration law.
City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito and union leaders from 32BJ were among the 37 people arrested during a rally that took place outside 26 Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan. Local clergy, labor leaders, elected officials and community leaders linked arms to form a chain that temporarily blocked traffic.
This is the second time officials and other protestors were arrested while demonstrating against Arizona's law, which requires police to question people about immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.
Organizers say there more rallies are planned.
"The next three weeks we're doing civil disobedience because we want to send a clear message to Congress that we are demanding comprehensive immigration reform,” said Bishop Orlando Findlayter, chair of the group Churches United to Save and Heal.
"I think Federal Plaza better get ready for every Monday that there will be thousands of people coming down here to be arrested here and on Broadway," Henry Singleton of Local 1199 said.
"We got to change the laws to help the people,” said New York Immigration Coalition’s Chung-Wha Hong. “It's bad laws hurting good people, so instead of blaming the people, let's fix our law."
Organizers are urging the Obama administration to pass federal immigration reform to overturn Arizona's controversial law. Opponents of the law see it as racial profiling.