Supporters of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA) demonstrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. (Photo by AP)
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in US
cities to denounce President Donald Trump
’s decision to end an amnesty program that protected nearly one million young migrants from deportation.
At least 3,000 people rallied Saturday outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City, waving signs that read; “No one is illegal” and “Immigrants welcome.”
The demonstrators also chanted; “Deport Donald Trump” and “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”
The New York protest was one of a string of demonstrations nationwide and that similar protests were held in Washington, DC, Boston and Oakland.
Trump said Tuesday his administration would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program that offers protection to young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.
He ordered a phased-out dismantling of DACA that gives a gridlocked Congress six months to decide the fate of these immigrants.
Supporters of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA) hold a demonstration on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Sept. 9, 2017. (Photo by AP)
Most of the people taking part in the protests on Saturday said they have benefited from the DACA.
Natalia Rodriguez, 24, who was brought to the US when she was 10, said before the program, “I would be terrified that I would be deported.”
“Going to college was an obstacle for me because I couldn’t get financial aid,” she told The New York Post on Saturday. “Then I got my permit and I was able to contribute.”
The DACA program allowed nearly 800,000 young men and women, often called “dreamers”, who had entered the country as illegal immigrants, to stay in the US.
Protesters rally outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York to protest the Trump administration’s decision to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation, Sept. 9, 2017. (Photo by AP)
The decision to end DACA is the fulfillment of a Trump’s campaign pledge. On the trail, the president referred to DACA as an “illegal amnesty” that had to be ended — though he softened that rhetoric soon after being inaugurated.
Groups that support reduced immigration welcomed Trump’s decision to end DACA. Still, polls show broad sympathy for DACA beneficiaries.
Trump’s decision could cause Republicans to lose more support among Latino voters.
Trump did better with Hispanics in last November’s presidential election than most expected, avoiding a catastrophic loss with the voting bloc despite his hard-line rhetoric on immigration and his signature promise to build a wall along the US-Mexican border.