Montana man speaking at national rally opposing Trump immigration policies

Posted at 2:26 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 16:26:25-04

A Montana man who this year quit his job rather than help process subpoenas that could be used to deport undocumented immigrant workers is one of the speakers at Saturday’s Washington, D.C., rally against Trump administration immigration policies.

Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts, who left the state Labor Department in February, told MTN News that organizers of the Families Belong Together rally contacted him and asked if he would speak at the rally.

“Not exactly sure how I ended up on their radar,” he said in an email, as he boarded an airplane in Houston to fly to Washington, D.C.

Dyrdahl-Roberts said he’s still working on his speech. He’ll take the stage Saturday along with many others, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer of the smash Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” and Amy Cohen, a California child psychiatrist who left her job to work with immigrant families detained in Texas.

Dyrdahl-Roberts gained national attention in February when he quit his job as a legal secretary at the state Labor Department, after he was asked to process some subpoenas from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

He said he suspected the information would be used to track down and deport undocumented workers, and that he couldn’t be part of efforts that could break up families.

“Anything I did in the department would forever make me a part of a machine that was going to be used to break up families,” he wrote later in a column for the Washington Post.

Saturday’s rally in Washington, D.C., is expected to draw tens of thousands of people, and hundreds of sister rallies are being held around the country, including one in Helena.

They’re protesting the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy of arresting and prosecuting people as they cross the border, leading to separation of some children from their parents while the case is processed.

After widespread protests, Trump issued an executive order June 20 to stop the family separations. But rally organizers say the order hasn’t fixed the problem, and that many families remain separated.