The government's shut down, but still has work to do!
It's been somewhat difficult to listen to the news the last couple of weeks, what with the shutdown monopolizing nearly all of the media coverage.
However, there is one story that I think has been particularly under-reported.
On Tuesday, eight members of congress attended a rally for immigration reform—and got themselves arrested for it. Reps. John Lewis (D-GA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Al Green (D-TX) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) were all arrested for "crowding, obstructing and incommoding," when they led a crowd of about 200 people and blocked a street near the Capitol.
Representative Gutierrez went on record as saying that the demonstration was a planned act of "civil disobedience" designed to bring attention to the looming issue of immigration reform. In an interview last year, Gutierrez told U.S. Catholic "The tradition of our Catholic community is to bring families together and to want to create an extension of our already wonderful and beautiful family. Our immigration policies—especially our deportations—are immoral because they are tearing families apart."
This serves as a reminder that the government has work to do. The country is full of actual problems, and the people of the country deserve actual solutions more than grand-standing and posturing. Where the function of government ought to be protecting its citizens, a government shutdown only hurts them: individuals, businesses, and politicians alike.
Meanwhile, truly vulnerable populations such as undocumented persons continue to be ignored and pushed aside while Washington fights its internal battles.