Trump Supporters Protest DACA Town Hall Meeting

Garden Grove Unified School District held an informational meeting about AB 540 and the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at Clinton Elementary School on Saturday when uninvited guests arrived. Before the event could even begin, the meeting was taken over by five protesters, led by Arthur Schaper, a member of “We The People” and “LA County for Trump.” The Trump supporters questioned people’s legal status, harassed district employees and questioned why there were translation services in Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean available to family members.

Lorena Sanchez, Executive Director of K-12 Educational Services, showed up to try and defuse the situation. When she arrived, Schaper, a failed former substitute teacher, greeted her and asked to give details about her pay. The protesters brought out signs that read “No DACA, Detain and Deport,” “No Sanctuary Cities”, “American Lives Matter” and “Deport all Illegals.” Sanchez started the meeting by almost shouting over the loud protesters: “Everyone that is in our school system needs to be supported when they’re in school.”

Schaper, wearing a trusty “Make America Great Again” hat to cover his baldness, interrupted her, arguing that “help should be for American students, not illegals.” Sanchez tried to take control of the situation, but Schaper interrupted her to initiate an impromptu reading of the Pledge of Allegiance. Sanchez waited for them to finish and then asked for a pause, during which, one of Schaper’s followers suggested he take over the meeting, at which point, he told the crowd, “We love Jeff Sessions because he is enforcing our immigration laws. We should be vocally opposed to illegal immigration, because it brings in these drug cartels. They’re not sending their best, they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapist and murders.”
With all the ruckus, participants went into a back room and closed the door. The Trump supporters stood up and began to walk towards them. When Sanchez stood in front of the door, one of the protesters forcefully pushed himself past her in order to get in. “Why are you coming against me like that?” Sanchez asked him. Then the man pressed a siren button on the bullhorn. “Where is the meeting?,” bullhorn man yelled.

Sanchez walked out of the building to call the Garden Grove Police Department. The MAGA disruption crew followed outside. When police arrived at the scene, they listened to complaints of assault by both sides. But by that time, the disruption effectively ended the meeting, which may have been viewed as a victory by Schaper and the rest of the Trump supporters, who recorded the entire incident on Facebook Live. 

“I want to let my constituents know that GGUSD is a safe haven district that supports all students and families,” said Walter Muñeton, a Garden Grove Unified School District Board Trustee. “We will not be intimidated by those who wish to spread fear and hate. The Garden Grove Unified District will continue providing resources to our communities because that is the right thing to do.”

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