LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to make an announcement at 8 a.m. Tuesday about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
President Trump has been under pressure to scrap DACA, which was introduced by former President Barack Obama in 2012. It allows people who were brought into the United States illegally as children to work and study in the country without fear of being deported.
Hundreds of protestors gathered Monday morning at Cesar E. Chavez and Grand avenues in downtown Los Angeles to continue a series of local demonstrations that began last week as word spread about Trump’s pending decision.
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles said members are ready to rally – pending the official announcement – at the offices of Rep. Steven Knight in Santa Clarita, Rep. Mimi Walters in Irvine and Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office in Bakersfield.
Trump has taken a hard stance against illegal immigration, but until recently had not given a strong indication of whether he would keep DACA in place. However, CBS News reported last week that the president intends to end the DACA program, which affects an estimated 200,000 Californians.
Asked whether DACA recipients — generally known as DREAMers — should be worried, Trump responded Friday, “We love the DREAMers. We love everybody. … We think the DREAMers are terrific.”
DACA is available to immigrants without criminal records who were brought to the country when they were younger than 16 years old. Work permits issued under DACA must be renewed every two years.
Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) is one of many elected officials of both parties who have criticized the president’s plans.
“I am outraged by the president’s foolish decision to end DACA,” Lieu said in a Sunday statement. “Our nation can never be great without embracing immigrants. Ending DACA is an unconscionable assault on thousands of young Americans who know no other home than the United States.”
California Sen. Kamala Harris called the decision “heartless.”
Local immigrants, elected officials and labor leaders also held a rally on Friday in downtown L.A. calling on the Trump to maintain DACA.
“We don’t want 800,000 people who have been vetted, who have applied, who have given all of their information to the government to now have to go underground,” labor leader Maria Elena Durazo said. “That’s what Donald Trump wants? I say no to that.”
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