Pa. immigrant rights group claims victory in midterm

Volunteers with Make the Road Action in Pa. celebrate Democratic wins at the organization's office in Reading on November 6, 2018. (Rachel McDevitt/WITF)

Volunteers with Make the Road Action in Pa. celebrate Democratic wins at the organization's office in Reading on November 6, 2018. (Rachel McDevitt/WITF)

An advocacy group for Latino and immigrant rights in Pennsylvania is claiming victory in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

The crowd at the Make the Road offices in Reading burst into song at the news Democrats were projected to hold on to the governor’s office and a U.S. Senate seat.

“Venceremos,” they sang, “we will win.”

The activist group’s sister organization Make the Road Pennsylvania said it registered 7,000 new voters. Make the Road Action knocked on 240,000 thousand doors across the state.

Adanjesus Marin, director for Make the Road Action in Pennsylvania, said the goal was to defeat Republicans Scott Wagner and Lou Barletta in their respective bids for Governor and U.S. Senate.

“But also to send a message to the Democrats that they need to respond to the needs of our people and that we have the power to organize and to defeat anyone in the polls,” Marin said.

Nearly one million Latinos live in Pennsylvania.

Marin said they also wanted to push back against President Donald Trump and his recent unsubstantiated claims that a migrant caravan heading to the U.S. southern border includes dangerous people.

He said those people are coming to the United States to legally request asylum.

“We have mothers, parents who think about what they would do for their children, and I think that at the end of the day what the voters have decided is that these people should not be villainized,” Marin said. “They’re doing exactly what any of us would have done for our own children.”

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