Rabbi, Jewish officials arrested at immigration protest

Rabbi, Jewish officials arrested at immigration protest

WASHINGTON – A rabbi and two Jewish officials were arrested in Chicago for their part in immigration reform protests.

Rabbi Joshua Salter of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Congregation on Chicago’s South Side was among 24 protesters arrested Tuesday morning outside of a federal detention center, along with Jane Ramsey, executive director of the Chicago-based Jewish Council of Urban Affairs, and Tom Walsh, the organization’s director of advocacy.

The activists were cited for disorderly conduct after sitting on a street attempting to block a van carrying detainees from reaching the detention center. They were released later in the day.

The protest against a stringent new Arizona immigration law followed a rally and all-night vigil held Monday. At the prayer vigil, Rabbi Bruce Elder, a Jewish Council board member, said that “I’m not here to say ‘shame on Arizona.’ I’m here to say ‘shame on America’ for allowing Arizona to happen.”

Activists of all faiths are gearing up for more civil disobedience at a May 1 immigrant rights rallies, The Associated Press reported. Activists hope the tactic will press President Obama to take serious action on immigration reform.

The Jewish Council is a co-convener of “We Were Strangers, Too: The Jewish Campaign for Immigration Reform” with Jewish Community Action and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.