Local Activist March to Defend DACA

By Emily Slater, Editor-in-Chief

Houstonians and cardboard signs sat scattered throughout Market Square Park, baking in the Houston sun. The calm was broken by a voice through a megaphone, directing the people to line up in twos. It was time to march.

After the Trump administration’s announcement to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), activists assembled all around the country to protest the decision. DACA is a program that gives temporary protection to undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as minors to work, study, and live in the country.

Activists from around the Houston area gathered on September 5 to protest the decision, marching through downtown from Market Square Park to Houston City Hall.

The demonstrators chanted as they marched, with calls such as “liberation not deportation” and “we are the immigrants, mighty, mighty immigrants.”

When demonstrators reached City Hall, organizers, including DACA recipients and Brown Berets, a pro-Chicano civil rights organization, spoke to the crowd.

“Houston, I have a message for you. We’re going to stand united. And we’re going to fight against those that stand against us. And we will prevail,” said Manuel Castillo, a Mexican-American immigrant, and uncle to two DACA recipients.

DACA was created by former president Barack Obama through administrative action in 2012. There are nearly 800,000 DACA recipients in the U.S. According to a national survey conducted in August of this year, 91 percent of DACA recipients are employed and 45 percent are students.

At House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s urging, President Donald Trump tweeted, “For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about – No action!”

Little is known about what happens to DACA recipients after those six months.

Lone Star College has not yet made a statement about how the college will  handle the president’s decision with LSC students and staff.

“You are not alone. We’re going to fight. We’re going to get together. We’re going to tell Donald Trump were not not going anywhere,” said Karen, a DACA recipient.

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Defend DACA protest. Sept 5. Photo by Michelle Lecumberry

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