Texas has been pushing President Donald Trump to put an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, so its citizens and undocumented immigrants decided to protest the push — only to be arrested for voicing their opinion.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to end DACA, the President Barack Obama-era policy that protects undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, yet it remains in place. In order to press Trump to act on his promise, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other officials from nine other states are pressing the president, going as far as promising to sue the federal government.
On Wednesday, both citizens and undocumented immigrants decided to show Paxton they are not in agreement with his message, Mic reports.
The organization of the protest was led by Maria Fernanda Cabello, who happens to be a DACA recipient and a spokesperson for the pro-DACA group Movimiento Cosecha.
“With DACA under threat, we know that some will put their hope in D.C. politicians,” Cabello said. “But we also know that we won DACA not because of any politician, but because our community took fearless action.”
The protests broke out in Austin, a city that has declared itself a sanctuary to immigrants. Despite the city's stance, the state's legislature passed a law overriding Austin's decision. The state-led effort effectively put law enforcement back in action, forcing Austin officials to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
So, during the Wednesday protest, at least 11 citizens and four undocumented immigrants were arrested for demonstrating against Paxton's actions.
One of the undocumented immigrants arrested was 27-year-old DACA recipient Catalina Adorno.
Prior to the protest, she told reporters that, as far as she knows, that was “the first civil disobedience involving DACA.”
“The action that we’re taking today will test whether or not Austin really is a sanctuary city or if it’s just a nice thing to say,” she added.
Unfortunately, the protest turned out to show immigrants that when it comes to fighting the state for its sanctuary status, Austin seems to have lost the battle.
After the arrest, Movimiento Cosecha released a statement asking for “permanent protection, dignity and respect for all eleven million undocumented immigrants.”
Hopefully, those arrested will be able to return to their lives in no time. However, it is a possibility that the undocumented taken into custody may have to initiate a legal fight if they do not want to be deported by ICE.
The idea that a protest is enough to put an end to a person's dream of living a peaceful existence without being pestered by the government is terrifying. It's time anyone who disagrees with the crackdown on immigrants speak out.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas