DREAMers and the immigration rights community stood outside the White House on Friday afternoon to protest, after rumors of President Trump seriously considering ending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) were reported by Axios on Thursday night.
Advocates said they are read to resist if Trump does decide to eliminate the program that protects more than 800,000 youth from deportation.
— NALCAB Policy (@NALCABPolicy) August 25, 2017
“I am very scared right now. If DACA goes away, I won’t be able to work, pay my bills or anything. Where would I be then? How would I survive?” Jung Woo Kim, a DACA recipient and organizer, said during a press call held by immigration rights organizations on Friday morning.
They are calling on elected officials to speak up to protect the program.
“We are not going to be thrown back into the shadows because we have come too far and this is our home and we are here to stay,” Greisa Martinez, Director of Advocacy and Policy of United We Dream, said during the press call.
On June 29, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and 10 other conservative attorney generals sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking the Department of Homeland of Security to end the program.
The Trump administration is being asked to respond to this letter by September 5 or the state AGs said they will add DACA to an existing lawsuit that would challenge the program. Previously Texas and 25 other states sued the government to eliminate DAPA, the program that would protect undocumented parents of U.S citizens. Texas won the lawsuit last year.
“It will be a grave moral and legal error for the Trump administration to end DACA program,” Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of Leadership Conference On Civil Rights said. “Targeting innocent immigrant young people would only deepen the moral crisis President Trump has plunged his administration into,” Gupta continued.
Damaris Gonzalez is a DACA recipient who fears about her future. “It is hard to assimilate they want to destroy your dreams,” Gonzalez said during the press call.
Gonzalez confronted Paxton earlier this month telling him “no human being is illegal, this is the fight for our lives and we are not backing down.”
The Executive Order signed by President Obama in 2012 provides work permits, driver licenses and protects DREAMers from deportation.
If the Trump’s administration decides to end DACA, it will be seen at yet another attack on immigrants. These kind of attacks “are a central element of the white nationalist agenda movement, and we will denounce and resist them,” Gupta said, adding that immigration rights activists will continue to call on and mobilize politicians to support the program and ask the president to “do what is right.”
“You either oppose the drive to kill DACA or you are complicit in our suffering,” Greisa said during the press call.
There are 40 senators who have spoken on behalf of DACA.
(2/2) Dreamers are an vital part of the fabric of our communities. They have contributed to our country and deserve to live without fear.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) August 25, 2017
Activists are marching in other places of the country to defend DACA and demand elected officials act on behalf of the immigrant community.
— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) August 25, 2017