Thousands protest DACA ruling

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez is arrested with several others at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge follwing Foley Square rally.
Photo by Tequila Minsky

On Tuesday, Sept. 4, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced — as anticipated — that the Trump administration will not renew the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program introduced by President Obama’s executive order, five years ago. Sessions said DACA will end in six months giving Congress time to formally act.

DACA provides temporary legal status to vetted young adults who immigrated before the age of 16 to the United States with their undocumented parents and are undocumented. Referred to as “Dreamers,” it protects them from deportation, issues them a work permit and social security number. More than 800,000 are protected in this program.

Following the announcement, immigration advocates amassed on both sides of Fifth Avenue outside of Trump Tower to protest. Thirty-four were arrested after sitting on the roadway, blocking traffic. In what might have been called unofficial complicity, the police then set up barricades to shepherd protestors across Fifth Avenue, blocking traffic for an additional 15 minutes.

In the early evening, DACA supporters rallied with local politicians and labor leaders at Foley Square who vehemently assured the crowd they will fight this ruling and will offer assistance to immigrants.

Following the rally, another civil disobedience action took place at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge, resulting in several other arrests including City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez. Thousands then marched on the walkway across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Trump tweeted later on Tuesday night that “I will revisit this issue!” if Congress is unable to pass legislation within six months to formalize DACA.

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