Riemer, Gutierrez Arrested Outside Capitol in Protest Supporting Immigrants

Hans Riemer was among thousands protesting U.S. policies toward immigrants. | Submitted

Two Montgomery County lawmakers — Council President Hans Riemer and Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez — were arrested Wednesday at a protest at the U.S. Capitol calling for protections for undocumented immigrants.

Riemer called the event “a powerful experience.”

“I really felt like it was important to stand up and be counted and be heard. We need Congress to act and we all need to act as best we can,” Riemer said Thursday.

The Washington Post reported that local and national groups organized the protest. Casa de Maryland, the immigrants rights group based in Rockville, had invited Riemer, he said.

Gutierrez of Chevy Chase represents District 18 in the General Assembly. She is running for District 1 on the Montgomery County Council in the 2018 election.

Protesters wanted their action to lean on federal lawmakers to replace the deferred action for childhood arrivals program. The arrests came from failure to disperse, the Post said.

“Many, many people were asked. I accepted that request for participation,” said Riemer, who lives in Takoma Park.

Part of the reason he accepted the request was that many people in this country under the DACA program fear they could be deported if they spoke out.

“It’s just horrifying to think about people who feel that any interaction with public safety could result in deportation. Even though they’re law-abiding students pursuing education, building a future for themselves,” Riemer said. “They are being forced into the shadows. The rest of us have to step in for them and be heard.”

His fellow County Council members elected Riemer to serve a one-year term as president the day before.

He said thousands attended a rally. Several hundred participated in the civil disobedience that led to the arrests, he said.

Thousands at rally, several hundred participated in the civil disobedience, Riemer said.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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