SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A peaceful protest ended with 18 arrests in Springfield on Monday.
Eighteen people were charged with misdemeanor trespassing after they blocked the doors to the old Federal Building, protesting Lucio Perez’ deportation order.
More than 100 family members, faith leaders, and neighbors marched Monday to support Guatemala-born Springfield resident Lucio Perez.
Perez is set to be deported Thursday, and the group gathered to urge immigration officials to cancel the order.
“I don’t think they should deport him, he’s not gonna take anything away from us,” said John Gurley of Springfield. “You can’t deport that guy, you’re gonna screw up his family, everything else. It’s a lot more than just him, it’s the other people if he had family.”
Perez is a landscaper and father to four children born in the U.S.
He had a temporary work authorization that expired in July.
According to the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, Perez’ lawyers requested his deportation placed on hold and his case reopened.
While more than 100 people protested Perez impending deportation, other said he should be required to leave the country.
“There should be something to do with getting them out of here, but if they’re here legally then they should be able to stay,” said Alex Placzek of East Longmeadow. “I don’t think there should have been a huge protest over it.”
Eighteen people were arrested in front of the Old Federal Building in Springfield, the Pioneer Valley Workers Center provided photos of the arrests to 22News.
All were charged with trespassing and released without bail.
Perez is currently wearing an electronic ankle monitor until his flight to Guatemala Thursday.