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September 05, 2017

After DACA decision, protestors to 'occupy' offices of Republican Congressmen across Pennsylvania

A coalition of Pennsylvania membership organizations intends to occupy the offices of the state's Republican Congressional delegation on Wednesday in protest of the Trump administration's latest immigration decision.

Dubbed #PaResist, the group has organized protests at the offices of Pennsylvania's 13 Republican Congressman and Sen. Pat Toomey, who has witnessed weekly protests outside his Philadelphia office since Donald Trump's election last November.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Assistance, which protects undocumented immigrant children from deportation. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called on Congress to replace the program, established under Barack Obama, with legislation before it fully expires in March.

The #PaResist protests are expected to include demonstrations at the offices of Reps. Pat Meehan, Ryan Costello and Brian Fitzpatrick, whose districts include large portions of the Philadelphia suburbs.

The groups overseeing the protests include Make the Road Pennsylvania, One Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania and Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA).

Adanjesus Marin, director of Make Road Pennsylvania, said Trump's decision to end DACA is a "shameless attempt" to "appease the white supremacists" inspired by his campaign. He called on every Congressman in Pennsylvania to denounce DACA's elimination. 

"There can be no confusion about the fact that this would be a direct attack on our communities, removing legal status for 800,000 immigrant youth," Marin said in a statement. "Anti-immgrants love to say 'get in line,' 'pay your fees,' 'follow the rules.' The DACAmented did all of that. There is no justification for putting their lives in jeopardy other than anti-immigrant hate."

Under the rescission, the federal government will not accept new DACA applications, though some immigrants will be able to renew their two-year periods of legal status until Oct. 5.

The 800,000 current immigrants currently benefiting from the program – commonly known as "Dreamers" – will not lose their protections until March 5, when the program fully expires.

To ensure any future protections, they will need Congress to pass an immigration law.

Here are the locations of the three local protests:

Congress Member Location Time 
 Brian Fitzpatrick1717 Newtown-Langhorne Road
Langhorne, PA 19047 
Patrick Meehan 940 W. Sproul Road
Springfield, PA 19064 
 Ryan Costello840 N. Park Road
Wyomissing, PA 19610 

Protests also will be held at the offices of Reps. Bill Schuster, Charles Dent, Glenn Thompson, Keith Rothfus, Lloyd Smucker, Lou Barletta, Mike Kelly, Scott Perry, Tim Murhpy and Tom Marino.