SPOKANE, Wash. – Protesters took to the streets outside Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ Spokane office on Monday.
March 5 was the original deadline President Donald Trump gave Congress to put into law the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and protect nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to America as children. Trump ended DACA six months ago by executive action.
Now, the Dreamer deadline has come and gone, and Congress has not yet taken action.
In downtown Spokane, one protester said she was there to ask Congress for empathy and help. She had previously spoken with McMorris Rodgers
“I told her my story. We talked about what family reunification visas are actually about,” Catalina Corvalan said. “We prayed together because that is how much this hurts.”
Corvalan said with no congressional solution, there is no security and stability for undocumented students and their families.
“We all came together because we wanted to find some common ground and by the end of the night she made it seem like there had been some progress,” she said of her meeting with the congresswoman.
McMorris Rodgers said Monday she will continue working with her colleagues to advocate for action and encourage those who are negotiating.
“I am very disappointed that this issue remains unresolved,” she said. “I said earlier this year that a bipartisan agreement is the best path forward, and I still believe that, but we need to get this done.”
Three protesters were arrested Monday afternoon in Spokane. Spokane PD officials said in a release they responded to a report of protesters "trespassing and causing a disturbance." Officials said they met with protest leaders who agreed to leave if three of them would be arrested. SPD said three protesters were arrested and given citations for trespassing, before they were then released.
"Spokane Police protect the rights of all those they encounter," SPD wrote in a release. "Everyone has a right to peaceably protest, however, this may not interfere with the rights of others to conduct business and feel safe in their everyday lives."
In Washington D.C., dozens of protesters were arrested as they held a sit-in at the U.S. Capitol building. Some of the protesters had chained themselves together, and Capitol Police had to use bolt cutters to cut them apart. Across the country, immigrants and their allies held marches, rallies and prayer vigils.
Both sides of the aisle point to the other as Congress debates.
President Trump tweeted Monday, "It’s March 5th and the Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA. Gave them six months, they just don’t care. Where are they? We are ready to make a deal!"
To protect dreamers, the Trump Administration has demanded funding to build a border wall and steep cuts in legal immigration, two things many Democrats in Senate are not willing to accept.
A Supreme Court ruling delayed the original DACA end date of March 5.