Immigration rights demonstrators arrested during sit-in at Joe Biden’s Philadelphia headquarters

Six participants in a sit-in at Joe Biden’s Centre Square campaign headquarters in Center City were arrested Wednesday afternoon, after hours of protests and demands for an apology from the former vice president of the United States.

Movimiento Cosecha, an immigrant rights advocacy group, organized the sit-in protest at Biden’s headquarters and was seeking an apology from the Democratic presidential hopeful for the deportation of 3 million immigrants during President Barack Obama’s presidency.

Arrests were just made as immigrants and allies continue to demand that @JoeBiden, and all presidential candidates, commit to an immigration platform that ensures dignity for all undocumented people.

— Movimiento Cosecha (@CosechaMovement) July 10, 2019

The Obama administration’s handling of immigrant rights and deportation was a topic during last month’s Democratic presidential debates, when Biden defended the Obama adminstration’s deportation policies.

California senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris, however, claimed that Obama’s policies allowed the deportation of people “who, by (U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement)’s own definition, were non-criminals.”

Much of the recent conversation around immigration policies and immigrant detention has focused on President Donald Trump’s administration, but Movimiento Cosecha’s demonstration Wednesday was intentionally focused elsewhere.

“Opposing Trump’s policies and returning to a status quo of silent deportations is not good enough,” the group said Wednesday on Facebook. “We must start a conversation about what dignity for immigrants really looks like.”

The idea behind Movimiento Cosecho’s sit-in Wednesday, the group said, was to remind the public, and press Biden, about the deportation of non-criminal immigrants.

Happening now: Allies are being threatened with arrests at @JoeBiden’s campaign headquarters in Philadelphia after immigrant families shut down the building to share their stories of detention and deportation under Obama. #DignityNotDeportation

— Movimiento Cosecha (@CosechaMovement) July 10, 2019

“We can’t ignore the fact (Biden) was complacent to Obama’s vicious deportation machine,” Catalina Santiago, media coordinator at Movimiento Cosecha, told HuffPost. “He is shamelessly ignoring the countless families he destroyed.”

By Adam Hermann for PHILLY VOICE
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