DACA Supporters Protest Trump's Decision to End ‘Dreamers' Program

In New York City, about 400 protesters marched to Trump Tower in Manhattan and police handcuffed over a dozen activists who staged a sit-in on Fifth Avenue

Immigrants and activists around the country took to the streets Tuesday for a second day of protests in reaction to the Trump administration's decision to end an Obama-era program that has shielded nearly 800,000 young people from deportation.

Outside the White House, where 300 to 400 demonstrators gathered earlier Tuesday, protesters yelled "Shame!" as Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects those brought into the country illegally as children. The administration is giving DACA a six-month delay to give Congress time to decide if it wants to address the status of the law.

Demonstrators in the nation's capital marched from the White House to Trump Hotel, chanting, "Stop, stop deportation! No more family separation!" before making their way to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters.

In New York City, about 400 protesters marched to Trump Tower in Manhattan and police handcuffed over a dozen activists who staged a sit-in on Fifth Avenue, briefly blocking traffic. Later in the day thousands marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, NBC New York reported. There were more than 40 arrests, officials said.

Hundreds of teachers and students demonstrated outside Metro State University in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado to denounce the decision and demand that Congress act. In New Mexico, students across the most Hispanic state in the U.S. participated in a massive walk out Tuesday.

Hundreds of people marched in the streets of downtown Los Angeles protesting the decision to rescind DACA. Scores of workers and community members participated, including janitorial workers, airport service workers, community leaders, local youth leaders and members of the clergy, according to the Service Employees International Union.

Protesters held posters Tuesday evening and chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go" and "Our communities are under attack. What do we do? Stand up. Fight back."

Rallies also took place in other major cities, including Boston, Chicago, Louisville, San Diegothe Bay Area, and Philadelphia.

Former President Barack Obama condemned the Trump administration's decision, calling it "cruel" and "self-defeating."

"Let's be clear: the action taken today isn't required legally," Obama wrote in a Facebook post. "It's a political decision, and a moral question."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told youths at a high school with a large number of students in the country illegally that they are welcome. The mayor says Chicago will be a "Trump-free zone."

The young immigrants are preparing for the unknown. Some worry they will have to work under the table in lower-wage jobs, while others hope to persevere or even start their own businesses.

Korina Iribe said she and her partner have been discussing what they need to do to protect their 2-year-old son in the event that they are no longer shielded from deportation or cannot work. Both were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

"Our son is U.S.-born, and ultimately for us, we want the best for him. But we also don't wanna go back to living in the shadows," said Iribe, from the Phoenix area.

Details of the changes were not clear, including what would happen if lawmakers failed to pass a measure by the deadline.

Supporters of the program also took to the streets previously on Monday in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, South Carolina and elsewhere, holding up signs that read, "No person has the right to rain on your dreams" and "You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one."

Iribe and her partner are planning on giving one of her son's grandparents power of attorney in case they are deported without notice. She is considering getting her son dual citizenship so he could join them in Mexico if needed.

Iribe said her family also will need to figure out how to pay for a mortgage on a home they bought two months ago.

"For us, it's more like how will we protect ourselves from deportation, and two, how will we make it work for our family, financially," Iribe said.

Abril Gallardo, 27, has used the work permit she got through DACA to get a job as a communications director for a Phoenix advocacy group. That's allowed her to pay for college so far, although cutting off in her ability to work legally threatens that.

If she can't work anymore, Gallardo plans on helping with her mom's catering business and hopes to start their own family restaurant one day.

"The most important thing is that we're safe together, and we're there for each other," Gallardo said.

Evelin Salgado, 23, who came from Mexico 13 years ago, is worried about losing her job, her home and her driver's license if DACA is canceled.

"It's like my life is crumbling on top of me," said Salgado, who graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky last year and in is her second year as a high school Spanish teacher just outside Nashville, Tennessee.

"My hopes. My dreams. My aspirations. Everything my parents and I have worked so hard for. We don't know what's going to happen," she said.

Salgado and her parents rent a home and she helps them financially. They may be forced to move to a smaller home or an apartment "because if I lose my job, of course, we can't pay for it."

Her father works in landscaping and her mother washes dishes at a restaurant. That's what got Salgado through college.

"Millions of people live in the United States undocumented. My parents, they work. So unless they put us in deportation procedures, we would have to go back in the shadows," Salgado said. "By that I mean working on low-paying jobs, driving with no drivers' license."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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