SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Advocates for immigrants are rallying in San Francisco to push local lawmakers to protect children entering the United States even if they're entering illegally.
They are targeting Democrats and say Nancy Pelosi has told them to take their complaints to the Republican Party, but they are ere demanding action from Democrats. These activists delivered a letter to Pelosi's office at the San Francisco Federal Building spelling out what they want and expect from her. They said Pelosi was not at the office, but an employee of hers said they would hand the letter over to Pelosi' policy analyst.
These protesters want the Obama administration to grant refugee status to thousands of children who have crossed into the United States and are being held in detention centers in Arizona, California and Texas. They say refugee status would give them legal counsel and mental health services.
"We're getting no response from them and we get constant, constant response, the Republican Party saying they want to masterly deport these children, so we're talking about a Democratic Party who says countless times they'll do what it takes to get immigration reform, but even until now we have gotten nothing. So we are holding the Democratic Party accountable," East Bay Immigrant Youth Organization spokesperson Blanca Vasquez said.
Opponents of this message say people need to cross into this country legally and the country needs to do more to protect the borders, but these activists say they want a more humanitarian approach. They believe the kids who have crossed over will be in danger if they are sent home.
Pelosi's spokeswoman Evangeline George issued this statement: "Leader Pelosi has been clear: Congress must immediately address the humanitarian crisis at the border. Pelosi recently visited the border in Brownsville, Texas and witnessed first-hand the surge of children who are escaping the overwhelming violence plaguing their home countries. Instead of proposing radical plans to undermine due process and other protections for children under current law, Republicans should work with Democrats to pass the president's supplemental funding request now and fix our broken immigration system once and for all by ending the Republican obstruction of comprehensive immigration reform."
These activists say this is not the only action you will see from them, as they say this is not a one-time protest, this is a campaign.