- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DENVER (AP) - Police arrested five people who blocked Broadway in front of the state Capitol on Tuesday to protest immigrant deportations and call on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet to take action.

The five, who were arrested just before noon, were sitting on the street blocking traffic and ignored police orders to disperse. Denver police spokesman Ron Hackett said they face charges of disobeying a lawful order and obstructing the roadway, both municipal misdemeanors.

About three dozen protesters holding signs chanted “We are with you!” as people were led away in handcuffs. The signs read “Keep Our Families Together” and “Senator Bennet We Will Not Wait.”

Protesters said they want Bennet to urge President Barack Obama to stop deportations, and they criticized Congress’ failure to pass an overhaul of the country’s immigration laws. Sonia Marquez, one of the protest leaders and an organizer with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said protesters want Bennet to take a more forceful and public stance demanding an end to deportations.

“He has failed to do that,” Marquez said. “We are calling on all politicians, regardless of your political party, stop being cowards and come out and face us and face the issue.”

Bennet’s office said he is committed to enacting immigration reform and shares the protesters’ frustration.

“Sen. Bennet is committed to fixing our broken immigration system,” said Erin McCann, a spokeswoman for the lawmaker. “Our current system threatens our families, our safety, and our economy. He has called on the president to take executive action within his authority to fix the system.”

Marquez said immigrant advocates plan more protests in the future where activists will get arrested.

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