Thousands gathered in front of the White House on Tuesday calling on the administration to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the executive action signed by President Barack Obama that protected 800,000 young people from deportation. They were able to receive work permits and stay in the U.S. in exchange for providing their information and going through background checks. Now, DACA is in the hands of the Trump administration — and the program is under threat by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other state-level officials who plan to sue if the Trump administration does not cancel DACA by Sept. 5.
During an action hosted by United We Dream, Rev. William Lamar, pastor of Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C., urged for leaders to support DACA and congressional action:
We demand leadership from our elected officials, we stand up for all dreamers, and we insist that DACA be kept in place until Congress enacts a clean version of the Dream Act and broader immigration reform. We will not stand by silently as aggressive and cruel efforts are on under way to deport millions of our brothers and sisters with deep ties to America. … Dreamers pay taxes, dreamers pay into social security, dreamers make our communities what they are, and we will not retreat, we will not shut up, we will not step back. We will fight until justice comes to each and every one of our brothers and sisters … Our dream will not be deferred.
Several young immigrants and faith leaders have organized a vigil that will run for 24 hours and 22 days, from Aug. 15, the 5-year anniversary of the executive program, to Sept. 5.
“Before DACA I was not able to drive or go to college … I was not able to have any valid ID. Now I can do it, but if DACA is repealed I will not be able to do any of these things again,” said DACA recipient Jung Woo from the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium.
By Jessica Cobian for SOJO
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