Trump administration moves to end DACA, affecting hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth
NEW YORK — US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the ending of an Obama-era program that has affected thousands of undocumented immigrant children and their families since 2012: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
“I’m here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded.”
It was exactly the announcement many protesters here feared to hear.
As hundreds gathered near the Trump tower in New York City on this morning to protest President Trump’s broken promise to protect the undocumented youth.
“This does not mean they are bad people, or that our nation disrespects or demeans them in any way. It means we are properly enforcing our laws as Congress has passed them. It is with these principles and duties in mind, and in light of imminent litigation, that we reviewed the Obama administration’s DACA policy,” said Sessions.
Many were in shock as they watch Attorney General Jeff Session on their smart phones break the bad news on behalf of President Trump.
“It’s kinda overwhelming to explain what we’re feeling, we’re going through,” said Sofia Ruales.
“The fact that people are gathering here to rally at Trump tower, it’s very clear that people are angry, that people will fight for their rights having Jeff Sessions be the face of this announcement really shows his cowardice,” said Jackie Mariano, International Migrants Alliance.
More than 880,000 DACA recipients will be losing their benefits in 6 months, including 5,050 Filipino DACA beneficiaries – according to the Migration Policy Institute. There are 22,000 undocumented Filipino youths who qualify for DACA in the US.
27-year-old Nelson Melgar came to the US from Honduras when he was only 13 years old.
He is among the 880,000 DACA beneficiaries who could be unemployed in 6 months because of President Trump’s decision.
“He’s not doing this because it’s a sensible policy, he’s not doing this because some economic think tank told him that if he does this the country I’ll do better as a whole, he is doing this to feed his base,” said Melgar.
The President is passing the buck to the US Congress who has six months to pass a legislation that would fix the DACA situation.
Trump tweeted: “Congress, get ready to do your job!”
“The Trump administration has absolutely disrespected the immigrant community who have been for decades fighting for some sort of solution to their plight, I think the movement is gonna grow bigger because rescinding DACA, and being so harsh against immigrants,” said Mariano.
In a Tweet, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to sue the Trump administration for rescinding DACA.
Today’s protest is not just for DACA and Dreamers, protesters say this is a fight to win permanent protection, dignity and respect for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, and the recognition that the US depends on these immigrants who bring in billions of dollars worth of economic power.