Students arrested during immigration protest at Montgomery Co. prison

    A group of about 40 ‘DreamActivists’ converged on the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Norristown, Pa. this past Thursday for a coordinated act of civil disobedience.

    They came to show their dissatisfaction with the facility for its cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a government agency also known as ICE.

    The Montgomery County prison agreed to set aside up to 60 beds for undocumented immigrants, reported the Daily Pennsylvanian.

    Protesters held up signs and chanted. They staged on the sidewalk before blocking off Eagleville Road.

    They were there to show their support for three individuals who had just made their illegal immigrant status public: Sheila Quintana, a contributing writer at the Daily Pennsylvanian, Erika Guadalupe, a student at Bryn Mawr, and Jose Luna, a cook and server in Norristown.

    The three were later arrested after refusing to disperse.

    “Under the new policy, DREAM Act-eligible youth will no longer be deported and will be allowed to obtain work permits,” the Daily Pennsylvanian reports.

    This has encouraged many young, undocumented immigrants to “come out” publically about their immigration status.

    “They are protesting the wrong people,” said Frank Custer, communications director of the Montgomery County Office of Communications. “Our decision to contract with ICE to temporarily house immigrants who are about to be deported, and are here for no more than 24 to 72 hours, in no way indicates our position on the whole immigration question.”

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal