Protesters gather in Bangor. Credit: A.J. Higgins | Maine Public

Nearly 30 men, women and children braved subzero wind chills in Bangor Saturday morning to oppose bus inspections by federal agents looking for undocumented immigrants.

The demonstrators, who represented more than a dozen social activist groups, said that in addition to protesting federal inspections by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents, they came to Concord Coach Lines in Bangor to highlight the potential deportation of Lexius Saint Martin. Saint Martin is a Haitian immigrant from Waterville who came to the United States as an 11-year-old boy. His status was protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which was terminated by President Trump last September.

[Family of Waterville man grapples with his pending deportation]

“We have Mainers being detained by ICE, we have the dreamers being used as a bargaining chip in D.C.” said Marie Follayttar Smith, a co-founder of Mainers for Accountable Leadership. “We need to show up and speak out and say that we do not tolerate this.”

Follaytter Smith also said she and others want bus passengers to know that their civil rights mean that they don’t have to answers the agents’ questions.

“We do have rights and we welcome all those who come to our country,” Follayttar Smith said. “We don’t want people to continue to live in fear.”

The activists are encouraging Maine’s congressional delegation to enact legislation to protect the DACA program.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

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