by Albert Bataclan, ABS-CBN News
LOS ANGELES, CA — Labor Day in LA was marked by a large rally, attended by hundreds of protesters. But beyond the chants and signs calling for higher wages, a deeper call for action rang — to battle against the repeal of DACA.
Protestors here await President Trump’s official announcement ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, with the offer a six-month delay to give Congress time to come up with a fix.
Since 2012, DACA has been granted to more than 750,000 immigrants, allowing them to attend school and work.
Labor leaders say repealing DACA will deeply hurt the US.
“Young people face a crisis, and specifically DACA people, being 750,000 of them are part of a whole generation of workers that are trying to make this country move forward,” said Exec. Dir. of SEIU Local 99, Max Arias.
And it will be a tragedy of all of the people, all of these workers are sent out of the country.
Democratic and independent lawmakers took quickly to twitter, weighing in on the president’s plan.
Fierce Trump critic Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted: “If Trump decides to end DACA, it will be one of the ugliest and cruelest decisions ever made by a president in our modern history.”
But some Republican lawmakers stepped up in support of the president.
Immigration hardliner and Iowa Congressman Steeve King tweeted: “Ending DACA now gives chance 2 restore rule of law. Delaying so our leadership can push amnesty is Republican suicide.”
The president also took to twitter, sending a Labor Day message to the nation:
“We are building our future with American hands, American labor, American iron, aluminum and steel. Happy #laborday!”
Some Filipino Americans had a different take on this message:
“Immigrants make the United States great.”
“Yes, there is a broken immigration system, but it should be respectful and compassionate,” said Grace Barrios. “Be a president, not just for the 30-percent you represent.”
During his campaign, the president promised to end DACA immediately, but within the last few weeks, he seems to have taken a softer stance on the issue, even calling the Dreamers good kids.
But on the heels of his decision on DACA, people on both sides of the debate say they are frustrated on the presidents lack of clarity and indecisiveness.