Hundreds Rally Against DACA Decision at Trump Tower

When the White House announced on the morning of Sept. 5 the end of the DACA program, which has shielded hundreds of thousands of youth from deportation, protesters outside Trump Tower in Manhattan fell somber.  

“This is devastating. It’s a humanitarian crisis,” said Thais Marquez, a DACA recipient and organizer with the nonprofit Movimento Cosecha who moved from Brazil to New Jersey when she was 8 years old.

“I know a lot of us here are undocumented again and we don’t know what that means for our future,” Marquez held back tears as she spoke before the crowd. ”But I do know that we’re here right now because we’re outraged and even without DACA, we won’t go back into the shadows.” 

Around 200 protesters marched from 59th Street and Fifth Avenue to Trump Tower on Tuesday morning in defiance against President Donald Trump’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Obama-era program allowed immigrants, who came to the U.S. as children, to study or work for two years. There are an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the country and 30,000 in New York City. News broke on Sunday that Trump intended to repeal the program, and on Tuesday morning he formally announced he would phase it out over six months – still giving Congress the chance to reverse the decision. 

Police cordoned protesters on the pavements and arrested a dozen people who sat in the middle of Fifth Avenue. One of the protest’s organizers said some of those detained were DACA recipients risking deportation by exposing themselves to the police. But while some recipients protesting at Trump Tower on Tuesday were in shock and mourning, many more were motivated by frustrated anger to keep pushing for permanent immigration reform.

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