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February 07, 2017

Students at Trump alma mater to protest his 'immigration bans' at Wednesday march

Last week, a group of students at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business posted an open letter to express their dissatisfaction with alumnus and President Donald Trump’s “executive orders on immigration and refugees.”

In the eight days since it’s been posted, more than 2,900 signatures of support within the Penn community have been added.

On Wednesday, they’ll take the next step in their effort to show the world that students at the university, with its deep ties to Trump and his family, don’t abide by actions likened to a “Muslim ban” and put on hold courtesy of judicial intervention.

At noon, the “Penn March Against Trump's Immigration Bans” is scheduled to get underway at the Love statue on Penn’s Campus (36th Street and Locust Walk).

From there, protesters will “stand with those affected by President Trump's immigration bans … and march from there to Senator Pat Toomey's office to deliver an open letter.”

Toomey’s office, on JFK Boulevard near 17th Street, is no stranger to protests, as it's been the epicenter of an ever-growing movement to rail against an ever-changing assortment of topics. “Tuesdays with Toomey” protesters also deliver letters to Toomey’s office each week.

Clifford Marks, one of the event’s organizers, said there's been a lot of enthusiasm on campus as they extended the group beyond Wharton to other Penn schools.

They’re expecting up to 200 people and have spoken with police to establish a route for the march (north on 34th Street to Market to 17th to JFK).

“We certainly welcome anyone from outside of Penn who wants to join the march and show support, though we expect the attendees to be mostly Penn people,” he said.

Steve Kelly, a Toomey spokesman, said on Tuesday that the senator “supports the rights of the students at Penn to exercise free speech.” He also addressed Toomey’s stance on the issues about which they’re protesting.

“While Senator Toomey has long believed that stronger vetting is necessary for refugees from countries that sponsor or provide safe havens to terrorists, he has also expressed concern that President Trump’s executive order was poorly explained and implemented,” Kelly said. “The executive order is currently subject to a judicial injunction and is not in effect. Senator Toomey will continue to respect any court decisions made regarding this issue.”