About 20 protestors rallied outside Congressman Glenn Thompson’s office in Bellefonte on Wednesday to defend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Protestors demanded the congressman help pass legislation to protect DACA recipients who came to U.S. illegally as children and now face possible deportation.
Thompson wasn’t in his Bellefonte office, but protestors registered their concerns and requests by meeting with Thompson’s staff and through making phone calls.
Christine O’Donovan-Zavada organized the protest. She said she hopes the congressman will pass an independent bill to protect nearly 9,000 DACA recipients in Pennsylvania.
The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that they would end DACA and gave congress six months to come up with a legislative solution for the program.
Michael Ozaki, from State College, protested along with his wife and two young daughters.
“This whole issue is about families, right?" Ozaki said. "It’s about people taking the ones they love the most to a place where they can have the best lives possible.”
The DACA protests spread across the state, where demonstrators are demanding Pat Toomey, Keith Rothfus, Bill Shuster and others defend the so-called “DREAMers.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and more than a dozen state AGs filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging the administration's decision to end DACA, stating it "violate[s] the rule of law."
Updated on 11:08 a.m. ET:
Congressman Thompson issued a statement following the administration's decision to end DACA, saying that he looks forward to working with both sides of the aisle to fix the immigration system.
"Those who contribute to society and the economy should not be deported," Thompson said in a statement. "But let me be clear: those who do not follow the letter of the law should be removed from the country immediately."