Immigrant Rights Groups Gear Up For Fight Of Their Lives With Nationwide Protest Plan

Immigrant rights groups plan to hold rallies and marches in more than 40 cities across the United States next week, aimed at pressing President-elect Donald Trump to back away from the hardline policies he trumpeted during his campaign.

Many of the activists’ demands ― like reducing deportations and passing comprehensive immigration reform ― have been common themes of the immigrant rights movement over the last eight years. But organizers are also gearing up for a fight to preserve the greatest gains of the Obama era.

“We are expecting and getting ready for the fight of our lives,” Kica Matos, the director of immigrant rights and racial justice at the Center for Community Change, said on a call with reporters Thursday. “If you look at [Trump’s] 100-day plan, it’s filled with hate.”

The largest of the Jan. 14 events is set for Washington, where organizers will be busing activists from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. They’ll meet at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church to hear from speakers including Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). Organizers, who want to show a strong presence in Trump’s new home, said they expect more than 2,000 people to attend.

Trump vowed on the campaign trail to cut federal funding to cities where local police do not help funnel undocumented immigrants into the federal deportation system. In his first post-election interview, the president-elect said he would deport between 2 and 3 million people. That figure would roughly double the Obama administration’s record-setting deportation pace, if Trump managed the effort over one term.

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