While the Trump Administration considers the future of an Obama-era program that has allowed over 800,000 undocumented youth to live freely in the U.S., immigrants and their allies are taking to the streets in protest.
On Wednesday, supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will gather in New York City’s Columbus Circle for a rally and march to protect the program.
Since it was enacted by President Barack Obama in 2012, DACA, has shielded qualified undocumented youth from deportation, allows them to get work permits, go to school, and all around live out of the shadows. Ahead of the Wednesday night rally, DACA recipients, have shared videos on social media outlining how the program has changed their lives.
In a video posted on Twitter, DACA recipient Eliana Fernandez said DACA has given her “emotional and financial stability.” Through the program, she’s been able to graduate from college, attend graduate school, and become a homeowner. “DACA has given me an identity to come out of the shadows,” she said.
President Trump is reportedly considering ending DACA, despite promises he made early in his administration to treat beneficiaries of the program with “heart.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has the future of the program “continues to be under review,” during a press briefing last week.
A group of conservative state leaders, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, has also threatened to sue the Trump Administration on Sept. 5 if the program isn’t ended.
As DACA hangs in the balance, immigration advocates are not taking any risks.
“We will not be pushed back in the shadows because this is our home and we are #HereToStay,” Greisa Martinez Rosas, a DACA-beneficiary and advocacy director of the immigrant rights organization United We Dream, said in a statement last week.