Immigration protesters storm Democratic debate stage shouting ‘We are DACA recipients! And our lives are at risk! Please save us!’ and stop Joe Biden’s final answer
- Protesters at the Democratic debate Thursday night stormed the stage
- The protesters claimed they were ‘DACA recipients’ and plead for the candidates to ‘please save us!’
- They were also wearing black t-shirts that read: ‘Defend DACA. Abolish ICE. Citizenship for all’
- The shouts interrupted Joe Biden as he was the first to answer the final question of the night
- A law enforcement officer said the protesters were being held in the debate location on Teas Southern University and checked for criminal records
- They would release them off-campus upon completion of a clean background check
Protesters at Thursday’s debate in Houston, Texas waited until the last question of the night to storm the stage and break out in chants pleading for help, claiming their lives are at risk because they are DACA recipients.
As ABC moderator George Stephanopoulos went in reverse order from the opening statements, shouts interrupted first respondent, Joe Biden.
‘We are DACA recipients!’ a group of a protesters shouted as Biden began to answer a question asking the candidates to explain their biggest professional setbacks.
‘Our lives are at risk!’ they continued to cheers from the audience.
Shouts from the demonstrators could be heard for more than 30 seconds, but faded as they were escorted out of the debate hall.
A law enforcement officer at the entrance of the debate location told DailyMail.com that the protesters were detained by security inside the building on Texas Southern University, where the third round of Democratic primary debates was taking place.
The officer said they would be released off-campus pending a quick background check and as long as they had a clean criminal record.
Protesters stormed the debate stage Thursday night in Houston, Texas
Some of the immigration protesters were wearing shirts that read: ‘Defend DACA. Abolish ICE. Citizenship for all’
‘We are DACA recipients! And our lives are at risk! Please save us!’ they screamed for more than 30 seconds as security escorted them from the debate hall
The demonstrators interrupted Joe Biden’s final question of the night where all the candidates were asked to share their biggest professional setbacks
One of the protesters could be seen wearing a black t-shirt that said, ‘Defend DACA. Abolish ICE. Citizenship for all.’
Several were able to make it onto the debate stage, where they were then apprehended by security, to carry out their protest.
Texas Representative Joaquin Castro, who is helping in his twin brother Julian’s presidential run, was in the debate room when the protesters emerged.
‘They were a group of Dreamers who were chanting, or were talking about the limbo that they’re living in and what’s at stake in their lives,’ Castro told reports immediately following the debate.
‘And it lasted probably for about 45 seconds, and they walked a few steps up on the stage. And then the security asked them to come down and they did,’ he dismissed.
Immigration is a hot button issue in the southern border state of Texas, especially as immigration advocates denounced Donald Trump’s hard-line policies at the border and pushed for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The 10 candidates on stage in Houston discussed immigration, but it was not nearly as big a focus as the other two debates earlier this summer, and was not as hotly discussed as other topics brought up Thursday night, like guns and healthcare.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was an Obama-era program that allowed individuals whose parents illegally brought them to the U.S. as children a two-year grace period where they could avoid deportation and become eligible for a work permit.
Trump’s Department of Homeland Security rescinded the expansion of DACA in June 2017 and in September 2017 the administration announced plans to phase out the program.
Since then, so-called Dreamers have been put in limbo as the phase-out has been put on hold by several courts.