SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Police in Springfield have arrested 18 protesters at a peaceful demonstration in front of the local Department of Homeland Security office.

The Republican reports that more than 100 people marched around the downtown building Monday to call on federal authorities to halt the deportation of Lucio Perez, a Guatemalan national who entered the country illegally in 1999.

A group of the protesters linked arms and sat down at the building's entrance, refusing to leave. Police charged them with misdemeanor trespassing.

Protest organizers say Perez doesn't have a criminal record and was in regular contact with immigration officials for years. But as part of President Donald Trump's immigration crackdown, he's been ordered to return to Guatemala Thursday.

Perez thanked supporters but said he fears leaving his wife and three American-born children.