Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) dodged questions Saturday on his vote to end a program protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation when a few of those undocumented youth confronted him at a book signing.
Ryan was signing copies of his new book “The Way Forward” at a store in Florida when immigration activists approached him to ask about his vote to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. United We Dream, an organization that advocates for immigrant youth, posted video of the encounter.
“A couple weeks ago you voted for defunding DACA,” one activist asked Ryan as a staffer snapped a photo of them on an iPad. “It would put me and my sister up for deportation. We just had a question. Do you want to deport me and my sister?”
“Thanks for coming. Read my book,” Ryan replied as another staffer escorted the activist and his sister away.
Later Ray Jose, another DREAMer and an organizer for United We Dream, told Ryan that he’d already read his book. But the Wisconsin Republican, perhaps anticipating what was coming next, didn’t give Jose a chance to say anything further.
“Nah, I’m not getting any questions. I’m doing a book signing,” Ryan said.
Jose was escorted away from the congressman by a security guard.
It’s not the first time immigration activists have confronted GOP lawmakers this summer about their plans for DACA. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) were also approached earlier this month at an event in Iowa. While King engaged the DREAMers for a few minutes, Paul was swiftly removed from the situation by an aide.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.