Evans and thousands of others who marched from the headquarters of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Southwest Washington earlier in the day specifically urged the Obama administration to grant visas to undocumented immigrants with children who are living in the U.S.
The advocates also called upon the White House to stop deporting undocumented children who have fled violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in recent months.
“Taking action through civil disobedience is one small measure to stop the suffering of immigrant families facing separation through deportation, and the suffering of the neighbors, friends, co-workers and co-congregants that love them,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA de Maryland and CASA de Virginia, which organized the protest. “Today, on this national day to fight for families, we call on President Obama to do everything in his power to enact humane and compassionate administrative relief that will end our suffering.”
Torres was also arrested outside the White House alongside Maryland Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery County), National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill and others.
CASA de Maryland in a press release described the arrests as one of “the largest number of immigrant-supporters” ever taken into custody “for a civil disobedience action in front of the White House.”
Equality Maryland backed a state law extending in-state tuition to undocumented students that Maryland voters upheld during a 2012 referendum. CASA de Maryland the same year endorsed the state’s same-sex marriage statute that its opponents unsuccessfully sought to repeal at the ballot box.
Evans, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Canada, wrote about her participation in the White House protest in an op-ed the Washington Blade published earlier this week.
“This effort seeks to pressure President Obama to provide aggressive relief to immigrants,” she wrote. “Organizers hope that this will be the largest act of civil disobedience in the history of the immigrant rights movement, with hundreds of arrestees. Equality Maryland staff will join this effort to show support. I urge all LGBT people to embrace the whole of our identities and communities and to join us on this important day.”
The D.C. protest was among 20 “National Day of Action” events held across the country in support of executive action on immigration reform.