Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen arrested in Washington immigration protest

Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen was arrested in Washington and charged with civil disobedience during a protest to pressure Congress to create a path to citizenship for immigrants.

The District 1 Democratic councilman said he went to the U.S. Capitol with the advocacy organization CASA, which offers immigration services.


Several hundred protesters attended the event Wednesday, which included a march from the Republican National Committee headquarters to a U.S. Senate office building. Along the route, about 40 demonstrators, including Cohen, stood in a street. Cohen said the U.S. Capitol Police issued several warnings before moving in to arrest the group near the White House.

Cohen and the others were charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding” and could face up to 90 days in prison and a $500 fine.


The councilman said he was “proud” to join the group and to get arrested because he was standing up for those around him.

“I feel a tremendous debt and obligation to support the community I represent, even the folks who can’t vote. They are still members of the community,” Cohen said. “We went to Washington to remind Congress that they have an obligation, too.”

Lydia Walther-Rodriguez, regional director with CASA Baltimore, said the group hoped to pressure Congress into granting a pathway to citizenship for immigrant mothers. She was also arrested and said Cohen and others were detained for about two hours.

“We’re grateful for his leadership, but also grateful for the leadership of the directly impacted immigrant mothers,” Walther-Rodriguez said, noting some of those arrested were immigrants. She said immigrant mothers in the U.S. have borne “the weight of constructing this country as essential workers.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Emily Opilo contributed to this article.