Washington, D.C. — Immigrant advocates staged a protest at the Capitol on Saturday to demand changes to the latest immigration proposal before Congress.
While most lawmakers were away on recess, protesters said they timed the gathering to ensure that immigration remains a top priority when the Senate reconvenes Monday.
"We wanted to send a message that people are watching. This is not one of those things that is going to go away. It's only going to get worse," said Eliseo Medina, international vice president of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, who is based in Los Angeles and spoke at the protest.
The afternoon protest on the Capitol's west lawn drew about 5,000 people, fewer than expected, mostly Hispanic workers and their families.
Organizers said they received phone calls from many immigrants afraid to attend after recent workplace raids and violent clashes between protesters and police during an immigration rally in Los Angeles last month.