Police estimate about 50 people gathered in front of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Catholic church in Janesville, Wisconsin, on Sunday to urge him to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program initiated by former President Barack Obama that issued two-year working permits to illegal aliens brought to the United States at a young age by their parents.
“If DACA is eliminated, I would lose my ability to work and support my community and family, and my family and I would immediately be at risk of being separated from one another, said Valeria Ruiz, who is affiliated with the protest organizers, Voces de la Frontera and its student arm Youth Empowered in the Struggle in a protest announcement posted on wispolitics.com.
“As Speaker Ryan’s constituents, we urge him to condemn Trump by name and publicly declare support for our families and DACA,” Ruiz said. “Ryan needs to publicly urge Trump to not eliminate these protections that have improved the economy and the lives of so many young people and families.”
“Everything single person who is rational knows that it has benefited this country — not just us who have this program but everyone in this country,” Cendi Trujillo, one of the protesters, said in a video report by GazetteExtra.
— Jonah Beleckis (@JBeleckis) August 20, 2017
The group also urged Ryan to rebuke President Donald Trump and criticized both Ryan’s and Trump’s response to the recent deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia that led to the death of one protester and two law enforcement officers.
“The white supremacist murder in Charlottesville and Trump and Ryan’s disgraceful responses remind the broader public how hateful and dangerous Trump’s white nationalist, anti-immigrant agenda is,” Ruiz said.
“This summer, a coalition of officials from 10 states threatened to sue to eliminate DACA if President Donald Trump does not end the program by Sept. 5, according to a Voces news release,” the GazetteExtra reported. “The program allows close to 800,000 immigrant youth to work legally and remain with their families.”
The GazetteExtra reported that Cathy Myers, a Democrat who is hoping to unseat Ryan, attended the protest.
“She said losing DACA would destroy families,” GazetteExtra reported. “She said the government with DACA made a promise to people, and taking that away would be ‘unconscionable.’”
The GazetteExtra added that Ryan was not in attendance at the church at the time of the protest.
Voces is also staging a protest at Ryan’s town hall meeting on Monday night in Racine.