Before the White House officially announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, people nationwide were prepared to fight. There had been speculation about the fate of DACA for weeks: President Donald Trump had spoken about the program unfavorably in the past, and then shifted somewhat more recently, saying he would show some heart. Despite the rhetoric, there was no definite conclusion as to what the President would announce today.
In a last-minute attempt, DACA supporters pleaded with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump with a vigil outside their home. Alas, that didn’t stop the White House from rescinding the DACA program. When official word came this morning by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, people were already in the streets demanding justice.
Here’s how people all over the country came out to support DACA.
While protestors took to the streets in support of DACA, senators Lindsey Graham (R) and Dick Durbin (D), who reintroduced the DREAM Act to the Senate in July, held a press conference to discuss the proposed law that would provide a pathway to permanent residency to undocumented people who came here as minors. In the press conference, both senators pushed for a bipartisan plan to protect undocumented people from deportation.
Vowing to reach a positive resolution, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told DACA beneficiaries: “You have done nothing wrong.”
While some students held a rally at Eastern Connecticut State University, another group of Connecticut residents were already on their way to D.C. The Connecticut Mirror is reporting that 40 DREAMers are heading to the nation’s capital for a protest alongside other DREAMers.
Elsewhere in Phoenix, social media reporter Cydney Henderson tweeted that “at least 100 South Mountain High students” marched to the Phoenix police department to support DACA and demand that police be removed from their campus.
Oakland Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee tweeted, “Ending #DACA is cruel and heartless. Congress must act now to protect #DREAMers and pass comprehensive reform once and for all.”
New York City
Members of Movimiento Cosecha sat down and locked hands in front of Trump Tower. Several members were arrested, including nine DACA recipients.
ABC News is reporting that at least 34 people have been arrested at protests in New York City without incident.
A protest is planned for 5 p.m. at La Placita Olvera in Downtown Los Angeles.
Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon told the Los Angeles Times: “The Dreamers who were brought to this country as young children, who are American to their core, deserve better.” Rendon added, “The Legislature will do everything we can working with local governments, universities and schools to keep these young people secure, safe and here where they belong.”
Raleigh, North Carolina
“This whole political debate is absolutely ridiculous. The concept of illegality is not real, we were not born illegal,” 20-year-old Jorge Ramos, who is a DACA recipient, said at a protest in Raleigh, according to the News & Observer. “This is all just a complex facade to further criminalize our people and exploit us for our cheap labor and unmerited contributions to this country. All we want to do is go to school and work. Why is that so hard to swallow…I know that in the end, justice will be on our side. Don’t be discouraged. We are worth so much more than this and we are here to stay.”
News reports estimate that about 1,100 Denver students walked out of class this morning to protest the DACA announcement.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a press release that he will support DACA recipients in his city.
“The Attorney General’s announcement of the Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA abandons 800,000 of America’s hardest-working, most patriotic residents,” Liccardo said. “Punting the issue to Congress, without any affirmative leadership to enact a legislative solution, amounts to a cowardly cop-out, placing the futures of these young women and men in serious jeopardy.”
San Diego Rep. Susan Davis says that ending the program will have a negative effect on the economy. “He has not only put them at risk, but our economy at risk as well. While it’s sad that Trump is siding with the worst elements of his administration, it’s not surprising given his past rhetoric on immigration,” Davis said in a statement.
“If they take DACA away, I hope they do something permanent for us,” 20-year-old Javiera Garate told The Miami Herald. “Not just take away the entire opportunity. If they do that, what do we do?”
U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey tweeted: “We will #DefendDACA so that all Dreamers in Massachusetts have the same chance to succeed. #DACAWorks”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tweeted: “President Trump’s decision to end #DACA strikes a blow against our core American values and is an affront to basic human decency.”
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