Monday, May 9, 2011

Six protesters arrested outside Gov. Mitch Daniels' office (Evansville Courier & Press)

[H/T to Twitterer @IN4Change for the link.
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Six protesters arrested outside Gov. Mitch Daniels' office

* By Eric Bradner
* Evansville Courier & Press
* Posted May 9, 2011 at 4:19 p.m., updated May 9, 2011 at 4:45 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS — Six people were arrested outside Gov. Mitch Daniels’ office Monday afternoon while protesting two anti-illegal immigration measures that have arrived on his desk to be signed into law.

Five of them had walked into a reception area outside the governor’s office. They sat on the floor, asked to speak to the governor and said they would not leave until they were allowed to do so.

“They were given the opportunity three different times over a span of about 15 to 20 minutes to leave the area and not face any arrest,” said Sgt. David Bursten, an Indiana State Police spokesman.

He said they would be taken to the Marion County Arresting Processing Center and booked on misdemeanor criminal trespassing charges. He said he did not know when they would be released because they would not identify themselves.

Daniels was in his office, but had no say in how the Indiana State Police handled the protesters who were arrested. “We leave that to the professionals,” said Jane Jankowski, the governor’s spokeswoman.

The six who were arrested identified themselves to the Courier & Press as college students. Some said they are from the United States, and some said they are not.

Idamarie Collazo, a Florida native who is in her third year at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, was arrested in the Statehouse hallway, outside doorways into the reception area by the governor’s office.

“I was just holding a banner. One of the cops came up and he tried to get through the door. He just started grabbing my hand, and I wouldn’t let go of the banner, because it was mine. He just started twisting my arm and then pushed me down to the ground and said that I was resisting,” she said.

The others, who were part of a crowd of about 60 that had gathered for a rally in the Statehouse hallway, said they had walked through the doors and into the reception area.

They were protesting two measures – House Bill 1402 and Senate Bill 590 – that are awaiting Daniels’ signature into law.

One of those bills would require employers to use the E-Verify system to check the legal status of their new hires. Another would require illegal immigrants to pay out-of-state tuition to attend Indiana’s public universities.

Sayra Perez, a 19-year-old Mexico native who just finished her freshman year at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, said she has been in the United States since she was 5.

She said she and others wanted to talk to Daniels, but their requests were denied, and they were told he did intend to sign the bills into law. She said they were warned twice that if they did not leave, they would be arrested.

“We will no longer be able to afford college prices. We can’t afford out-of-state tuition, and we won’t be able to get jobs any more,” she said.

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