After the Trump administration pulled the plug on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Tuesday, putting the future of some 800,000 “Dreamers” in peril, thousands of people across the nation took to the streets to #DefendDACA.
The policy was originally enacted under former President Barack Obama to shield young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents from deportation.
In Washington D.C., hundreds gathered outside the White House in the hours before and after Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement. People shouted: “We want education; down with deportation,” and held placards with slogans like “Here To Stay.”
In Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Detroit and New York, throngs of protesters clogged the streets in support of DACA recipients.
In reponse to Trump’s decision to rescind the program, Obama said in a statement that the move was cruel and “contrary to our spirit, and to common sense.”
In Denver, hundreds of students from several local high schools walked out of classes in protest of the DACA announcement. According to CBS Denver, some of the young demontrators were Dreamers themselves, but many others were friends and supporters of the DACA program.
“This is the only country that they know, so I think that as long as they’re good and as long as they study, they work, they pay their taxes, they should have a chance to stay in this country,” Raul Duran told the outlet.
In midtown Manhattan, dozens of people, including several DACA recipients, gathered outside Trump Tower for a sit-in on Tuesday.
Almost three dozen people were arrested for disorderly conduct, reported WABC.
In the days to come, more DACA protests will be held across the nation. The Here to Stay website has an interactive map showing where protests and rallies were being planned. As of Tuesday night, the map was replete with upcoming events.
Organizers also urged DACA advocates to take other actions to push for positive change. In a blog post that went viral on Tuesday, HuffPost contributor and DACA recipient Pierre R. Berastaín encouraged people to spend a few minutes contacting the White House and local lawmakers to urge them to support legislative reform that will protect Dreamers.