OAKLAND -- Two of four undocumented students who have been sitting in President Barack Obama's downtown Oakland campaign office since Thursday afternoon remained Friday night and said they planned to stay through the weekend.
After a 6 p.m. rally Friday, Blanca Vazquez, 22, who attends San Francisco State University and Irving Pineda, 24, a UC Merced student, came out of the building, having not eaten since about 2 p.m. Thursday, Vazquez said.
Luis Nolasco, 21, a recent Cal State San Bernardino graduate, and 24-year-old Luis Serrano, a student at Los Angeles City College, remained behind. The two men sat back to back on the carpet in front of the glass campaign office door at the headquarters on Telegraph Avenue at 17th Street. They had been drinking Pedialyte, an electrolyte replacement drink, and water for part of Friday but were down to only water by Friday evening. Supporters have left food and beverages outside for them, but building security refused to let them access it.
Obama announced an executive order Friday morning halting deportations of young people who came to the United States when they were children. The order could affect hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants by granting them protection from deportation and temporary work permits for two years.
The Oakland protesters celebrated the surprise announcement as a partial victory but said they wanted more. The order protects many young people from deportation but
"They're going to stay there as long as they can, as long as they can hold up," said supporter Krsna Avila of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance.
Serrano, speaking by cellphone from inside the building, said Obama's move is not a real change but "an illusion."
"He's saying 'I'm doing this for these kids,' but it's not what we wanted."
Serrano was locked out of the building for a time on Friday after he went into a hallway where a restroom is located. He returned to the headquarters to sit in protest on Friday evening when the other two protesters left.
Also joining the protest on Friday evening was the Brass Liberation Orchestra, which played upbeat songs on the sidewalk outside the headquarters for more than an hour.
Local campaign workers for Obama for America have not yet tried to kick the protesters out, but they hired security guards to watch them and the office. Linda M. Serrato, California press secretary for Obama for America, was not available for comment Friday.
The Oakland sit-in followed a days-long occupation of Obama's Denver campaign office last week.