by Albert Bataclan, ABS-CBN News
LOS ANGELES — Thousands of protesters marched on the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, just hours after US attorney general formally announced the end of DACA.
Gathering at the city’s old historic center, the crowd at Placita Olvera swelled to close to 2,000 as the procession headed toward the steps of City Hall.
Although many of these activists say that the government’s announcement to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program didn’t come as a surprise, the news was still disturbing.
“Of course this isn’t new for the administration, we’ve seen a lot of attacks against immigrants — a lot or racist attacks, so this is just a continuation of the kind of hate crime, the hate that is brewing under this administration,” said Megan Foronda.
Young people shielded from deportation and allowed to work legally under DACA will begin losing their protection next March, unless Congress acts before then.
Advocates now say they are working harder with schools to protect the Dreamers.
‘We are working with colleges, making sure that student bodies are advocating for the rights of immigrant youth—undocumented youth to ensure they are working in tandem with their professor, their administrators to ensure they are not collaborating with any deportation services,” said Andrew Esposo, Anakbayan LA.
The Trump administration says they will wind down DACA with minimum disruption.
They say new applications to the program will not be accepted, and for now, protection for current DACA recipients remain in effect.
• New applications received by September 5, 2017 will still be processed.
• DACA work permits already issued will be honored until they expire.
• Renewal applications for recipients whose status will expire by March 5, 2018 have a month to apply for a new two-year permit.
But some fear protest rallies like today may also be in jeopardy of being outlawed—based they say on the government’s current track record.
“My biggest fear is we are going to lose our right to assemble in public and our right to organize freely and to build community power to fight against these injustices,” said Michelle Bollinger.
Participants today came here as a direct response to the President’s decision this morning. But they say that the fight for DACA is not over—and they say that the bigger battle is for full immigration reform.