Protests erupted across the country on Monday morning as Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that President Donald Trump‘s administration would rescind DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that offers work permits to people who entered the country illegally as minors.
Multiple demonstrators — including some undocumented immigrants — were reportedly arrested at Trump Tower as hundreds of local immigrants and advocates descended on the president’s midtown Manhattan residence and business headquarters to protest the repeal of DACA. Some of the protestors had staged a sit-in in the middle of the street and were arrested after they blocked traffic at a busy intersection on 5th Avenue, according to reporters on the scene who posted on social media.
The activist group Movimiento Cosecha helped organize the Trump Tower protest, Patch reported, citing a press release.
“We are angry for all the young undocumented immigrants that haven’t turned 16 yet and are waiting to apply for DACA. We are angry, for all the DACA parents that could lose the job that supported their family. We are angry, for all the plans that DACA recipients had that now seem impossible,” Thais Marques, a spokesman for the group, said in a statement, according to Patch.
“But we are also strong; and no politician — not Trump, not Paxton — can take that away from us. Our strength and resilience have never depended on a work permit,” he added.
Elsewhere in the country, protestors mobilized to voice their disapproval of Trump’s decision. Hundreds of undocumented immigrants and allies gathered in front of the White House in the hours leading up to Sessions’ announcement, chanting, “Shame!” and holding signs that said, “We are America,” “Congress! Don’t wimp out!” and “We want education, down with deportation,” The Washington Post reported.
In Denver, dozens of students walked out of school in protest, TheDenverChannel.com reported.
On Monday, ahead of Sessions’ announcement, protestors assembled in Los Angeles and at Trump Plaza in West Palm Beach, where they called on Trump to continue DACA.
The emotional reaction to the president’s anticipated action continued Monday night, with a candlelight vigil outside the Northwest D.C. home of First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, both of whom are senior advisers to the president and have indicated in the past that they support extending DACA protections to the 800,000 so-called Dreamers living and working in the United States.
Organizers of the vigil said demonstrators came from as far away as Washington state, Texas and Idaho to press Ivanka and Kushner for action. One of the signs held outside their home read: “Jared + Ivanka Please Protect Protect Dreamers. Keep DACA!”
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After Tuesday’s announcement, support for Dreamers — the nearly 800,000 undocumented people who were brought to the United States as young children and have been temporarily excluded from deportation under the DACA program — flooded in from politicians, celebrities, activists and others on social media.
One day after threatening to sue President Trump over his DACA decision, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to “fight to defend our Dreamers.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden also tweeted his support for Dreamers.
“Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America,” he wrote.