DACA announcement sparks widespread protests and student walkouts

Defenders of DACA took to the streets after the Trump administration announced an end to the immigration program

Published September 5, 2017 4:20PM (EDT)

Yurexi Quinones, a college student who is a recipient of DACA (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Yurexi Quinones, a college student who is a recipient of DACA (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement Tuesday calling for the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy sparked protests across several major cities, including a massive student walkout in Denver.

At several schools in Denver, students walked out of their classes to protest the decision from President Donald Trump's administration, one that would leave roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants unprotected and subject to deportation.

"Students gathered at Barnum Park at West Sixth Avenue and Federal Boulevard before marching to the Tivoli Center on the Auraria campus," Fox 31 reported. "Students from West High School gathered in Sunken Gardens Park and walked to Lincoln Park."

Elsewhere, DACA defenders poured onto the streets outside the White House and Trump Tower in New York City, yelling "shame!", according to The Washington Post. Others in D.C. marched outside the Justice Department and sat in the middle of an intersection.

"This president lied to the community. For many months, he said, 'I love the Dreamers.' He lied to us, we cannot trust him," Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA, an immigration advocacy organization, told the Post. "We are going to keep fighting, we are going to keep registering people to vote. We are going to win elections in Virginia this year. We are going to win the elections in 2018 and 2020."

On 5th avenue in Manhattan, a group of roughly a dozen protesters blocked traffic and sat in the street with locked arms. Police threatened the activists with arrest if they did not voluntarily disperse, the Post says. Some reports suggest that an unknown number of protesters were indeed taken into custody.

"I’m taking this as motivation," said Balem Orozco, 26, a DACA recipient who arrived in the U.S. when she was only seven. "If the President thinks this announcement is going to make us go away, it’s going to do the opposite."

Sessions' Tuesday-morning announcement contained numerous falsehoods, ranging from misleading statements about the program to disproven, white-supremacist myths about immigrants.

In the announcement, the attorney general and the administration offered no concrete plan for bringing to an end the Obama-era policy which allows some children who entered this country illegally to remain residents on limited terms. Instead, the administration has put the onus of organizing a post-DACA framework on Congress, a body that has, in sum, expressed very little interest in debating or enacting the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of residents.


By Charlie May

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