Government shutdown: Even though the National Mall in Washington is officially closed, the US Park Service has given the go-ahead for a pro-immigration reform really tomorrow.
The Park Service granted the immigration event the same First Amendment exception as the veterans visiting the WWII Memorial.
Initially the Park Service initially placed barricades in the path of the elderly veterans — many of whom are affiliated with the Honor Flight program — to prevent them from gaining access to the 24-hour open-air park. The veterans stormed in anyway.
As we previously reported, park rangers due to a misunderstanding tried to barricade the parking lots to George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Estate and Gardens in Virginia even though the facility itself is privately owned.
We’ve also reported that the Park Service evicted an elderly couple from their privately owned home in the Las Vegas area because it sits on federal government land.
According to the Washington Examiner, “Organizers for the ‘Camino Americano: March for Immigration Reform’ were spotted Monday setting up a stage and equipment on the National Mall for the rally which will take place on Tuesday. A few scattered barriers around the park have signs informing visitors that the area is closed as a result of the government shutdown. Susana Flores, a spokesperson for the rally, confirmed for the Washington Examiner that the Park Service will allow the event to take place under the group’s rights granted by the First Amendment.”
Several immigration activist groups as well as three politically connected unions are hosting the march/rally. Some 30 Members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D – Calif.), are expected to attend the Camino Americano assemblage. The event website states in part that “Tens of thousands will come to the National Mall to share stories of suffering and strength and demand passage of commonsense immigration reform.”
A spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform told TheBlaze that “The President and his administration have a history of picking and choosing which laws they want to obey and this is no different. Americans who fought for freedom are denied access to the WW II memorial while those who violate our laws are rewarded.”
The Washington Examiner has previously that 83 percent of government operations are unaffected by the shutdown.
[National Mall image credit: AgnosticPreachersKid]