President Trump’s decision to rescind an Obama-era policy deferring action against children of undocumented immigrants is drawing scattered protests around the country.
Hours before Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the widely anticipated announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the White House. They shouted “We are America” and “We want education. Down with deportation.”
The marchers then proceeded to the Department of Justice, where the announcement was made, and to the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, where they staged a sit-in.
In announcing the policy change, Sessions called DACA an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.” The president issued a statement saying: “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are a nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”
Outside Trump Tower in New York, where some 400 protesters briefly blocked a stretch of Fifth Avenue, police handcuffed and removed about 30 people.
In Denver, hundreds of students at multiple schools walked out of classes to protest the move shortly after the announcement. KUSA reports that many of them carried messages that read “Defend DACA” and “Our Dreams Can’t Wait.”
Other DACA rallies were planned for Colorado Springs, Boulder, Longmont and Glenwood Springs, Colo., KUSA reports.
The Associated Press says teachers and students also demonstrated near Metro State University against the policy change.
There were also protests in front of Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in Phoenix and in Miami, where young immigrants from Honduras, Mexico and Colombia are expressing shock and sadness, the AP says.
In Los Angeles, marchers are gathering in various parts of the city.