PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “Yinz are welcome here. Say it loud. Say it clear. Yinz are welcome here.”
Chanting to DACA young people afraid to identify themselves, local protesters gathered simultaneously outside the offices of Congressman Tim Murphy in the South Hills and Congressman Keith Rothfus in the North Hills.
“Build bridges, not walls,” was another chant.
Both congressmen were targeted for not yet embracing the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow the 800,000 American-raised children of illegal immigrants to remain without fear of deportation.
“We want him to see the human side, the people side, because you can’t be pro-life and against 800,000 youngsters,” said Stacey Vernallis, of O’Hara Township.
President Trump rescinded President Obama’s executive order called DACA that gave temporary protection to young adults brought illegally to this country as children, kicking the issue to Congress.
“We want them to pass a clean DREAM Act. It’s been stalled in Congress for too long, and the time to pass it is now,” Maria Montano of Beechview told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
Montano, a Mexican American, said Congress must reinstate DACA.
“It provided a path for folks to come out of the shadows. They were brought here as young children by their parents choosing, and all they want to do is be able to live and work in peace without fear of deportation.”
“And now that is being taken away from them,” said Montano.
Congressman Rothfus missed the protest outside his North Hills office. No surprise. He’s in Washington DC, but the protesters say they will be back, again and again and again.
“We’ll be back. We’ll be back,” they chanted.
Protesters expressed frustration that neither Murphy nor Rothfus have held public town hall meetings, making gatherings like this a necessity.
“We just want Congress to step up, get serious about their job, and do their work,” said Bob Brecht, of Franklin Park.