60 Brave Rain in Utica to Protest Trump’s Decision to End DACA

Sixty local residents rallied in steady rain at the Oneida Square Roundabout in Utica on Tuesday evening to protest the Trump administration’s decision to end the 2012 program that deferred deportations for nearly a million young people who were brought to the U.S. as children. The rally, which was sponsored by the Central New York Citizen Action and Indivisible Mohawk Valley, called on Representative Tenney and Congress to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and enact immediate legislation to protect those covered by the program. Protestors carried signs like “Protect Dreamers and Immigrants,” “Immigrant Rights are Human Rights,” and “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday it is ending DACA, the Obama-era program that allowed heavily vetted undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S.as children before 2007 to remain in the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration will stop considering new applications for legal status dated after Tuesday, but will allow any DACA recipients with a permit set to expire before March 5, 2018 the opportunity to apply for a two-year renewal if they apply by October 5, 2017. In rescinding DACA, the Justice Department has given Congress a six-month window to address the problem of DREAMers and potentially pass a legislative solution. Congress has been unwilling and unable to pass immigration reform that addresses this human tragedy for the past 14 years. The lives of nearly 1 million young people, including 50,000 New Yorkers, now hang in the balance, the stability, protection from deportation, and opportunities for gainful employment and education afforded by DAC, being torn away.

The rally, sponsored by Central New York Citizen Action and Indivisible Mohawk Valley, called on local citizens to contact their members of Congress to defend the DACA program and pass a Dream Act immediately and without compromise.

John Furman, President of CNY Citizen Action said: “The Trump administration announced today that it will end DACA – a program that has provided work authorization, protection from deportation, and a new lease on life to immigrant youth brought to the US as children. DREAMers were brought to America as children and have grown up in what is for many the only country they know. Trump’s attack on Dreamers is an attack on the American Dream. We and other advocates have been calling for comprehensive immigration reform for years. We know that there is a moral and just way to address the issue. We are asking local citizens to stand with DREAMers. We demand that Congress pass a permanent legislative solution for DACA, that includes a path to citizenship, and has no strings attached! We need to make sure that our New York representatives including Rep. Tenney, know that the people of our state are calling on them to #DefendDACA. The consequences of ending DACA will be dire for New York communities. We cannot stand by as this administration demonizes immigrant youth and tears families apart.”

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