Pence to be met with protest during Philadelphia visit
Vice President Mike Pence plans to attend a fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association at the Rittenhouse Hotel on June 19, where an advocacy group will protest the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children and parents at the border.
During a visit to Philadelphia, Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be greeted by protesters condemning some of the controversial immigration policies that have been attributed to the Trump administration.
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be in Philadelphia June 19 around 5 p.m. to attend a Republican Governors Association (RGA) fundraiser at the Rittenhouse Hotel, according to a news release from the Office of the Vice President.
The vice president will join Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner, who is an advocate of President Donald Trump, in fundraising for the RGA which works to elect GOP governors across the country. The event will be met with protesters in Rittenhouse Square organized by Refuse Fascism Philly, the Philadelphia chapter of the anti-Trump political organization Refuse Fascism, which claims the “responsibility to drive [Trump-Pence] from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.”
The group is calling on those who oppose the president's administration and those concerned about migrant rights to peacefully demonstrate against the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, which in the past week has become a highly-scrutinized practice initiated by Trump administration officials to deter illegal immigration.
Refuse Fascism Philly also acknowledged the alleged maltreatment of asylum-seekers by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and the holding of minor children in government-provided, makeshift camps along the border while their parents are criminally prosecuted. They ask that attendees bring children’s shoes to represent the thousands of migrant children who have been separated.
“Be part of fierce condemnation of the ripping apart of families, the tent cities that are being filled, the terrorization of children,” the protest’s Facebook event reads. “Act up against the fascist theocrat Mike Pence. In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America. Stop Separating families!”
The latest on President Trump’s aggressive anti-immigration policy is that in a span of six weeks, from April 19 to May 31, almost 2,000 children were separated from their parents at the border and put into tent shelters while their parents undergo criminal prosecution for entering the country illegally. This practice was adopted as a “zero tolerance” policy in April and is being enforced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a measure to reduce illegal crossings. It was considered by the administrations of both Barack Obama and George W. Bush, but instead, the two previous administrations determined exceptions for parents traveling with minor children.
In April, the New York Times reported that almost 700 children had been separated from their parents while being processed at border control stations, more than 100 of them under the age of 4. ICE agents have now also been accused of taking children without their parent’s knowledge and falsifying information about their practices in order to separate them.
President Trump himself, along with First Lady Melania Trump, former First Lady Laura Bush, and several members of Congress from both the Democratic and Republican parties, are now condemning the practice as inhumane, but President Trump is back-tracking to blame Congressional Democrats for the policy’s implementation, despite it being an executive office decision.