Three Orange County immigration activists were arrested Monday during a sit-in at the Washington, D.C., office of Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Anaheim, as a delegation from Orange County sought to have Sanchez publicly call on President Obama to halt deportations.
The protest by Orange County DREAM Team activists came on the heels of a national day of action demanding that the president expand his deferred action program to all undocumented immigrants.
Luis Ramirez, Dulce Saavedra and Jonathan Bibriesca were arrested and charged with unlawful entry, said U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider.
In a statement, Rep. Sanchez said she supports comprehensive immigration reform, as well as the president using his prosecutorial discretion in deportation cases.
“His recent call to review deportation policies is also [a] welcome announcement and I look forward to meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson this week on the topic,” Sanchez wrote.
“As a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I continue to put pressure on the Administration to make the most compassionate choices based upon our shared American values,” she added.
“The law is the law, but there is a difference between a violent felon and a mother who filled out her paperwork incorrectly. We should not needlessly separate families.”
Just before 2 p.m. Eastern time, another group of activists from Los Angeles was reportedly still sitting in at the office of Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles.
Four hours later, the activists were still in Rep. Becerra’s office, according to a live internet stream of the sit-in.
Demonstrators engaged in call and response chants.
“What do we do when our families are under attack?” one demonstrator would shout.
“Stand up, fight back!” others replied.
U.S. Capitol Police then issued a final warning, before moving to detain those who remained seated in the room.
“Undocumented! Unafraid!” the protesters shouted.
Opponents of illegal immigration also held a rally Saturday in San Juan Capistrano, calling on government officials to step up their enforcement of immigration laws.