Seven activists have been holding a sit-in inside Sen. Michael Bennet’s Denver office Wednesday, demanding his immediate help on passing legislation to help immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
The protesters were demanding that Colorado’s Democratic senator, who has been active on immigration in recent years, set up a meeting with other senators to discuss the program that helps such immigrants — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — issue a public statement about the meeting and set up a separate meeting with constituents in Colorado.
— Kevin Beaty (@KevinJBeaty) February 7, 2018
#DreamActNow group gathered in Denver Civic Ctr Park before marching to @SenBennetCO office to demand he vote no on any CR that does not protect immigrant rights #copolitics pic.twitter.com/NetCXfyX18
— Juror 59 (@immovableladder) February 8, 2018
— Kelly Allan (@1ColoradoKelly) February 8, 2018
— UNE (@UNEcolorado) February 7, 2018
— Padres&JóvenesUnidos (@PJUnidos) February 7, 2018
The protest comes a day after the White House announced that President Donald Trump likely wouldn’t extend a March 5 deadline, when work permits will start to expire for DACA recipients, or Dreamers, as they’re often known.
Earlier in the day, several activist groups marched to the senator’s office from Civic Center Park. The group inside his lobby has been live-streaming its protest, which continued into Wednesday evening.
Bennet spoke to the protesters this evening during their sit-in.
“Michael is continuing to work with his colleagues to find a bipartisan solution that protects Dreamers and keeps families together,” said Samantha Slater, a Bennet spokeswoman.
This tactic is not new. Other activists held a dayslong protest in Sen. Cory Gardner’s office last summer to pressure the Republican into opposing the repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
In recent months, Bennet has been part of the so-called “Gang of Six” senators trying to develop a comprehensive immigration package. In 2013, he was a member of the so-called “Gang of Eight,” a bipartisan team of senators who co-authored a massive immigration package that passed the upper chamber by a 68-32 vote. The bill aimed to bolster border security while offering a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally.
Staff writer Mark K. Matthews contributed to this report.