Two members of Congress among hundreds arrested protesting DACA, TPS decisions
Organized by The New York Immigrant Coalition and CASA Virginia, protesters called for Congress to vote to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA) and the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.
Approximately two hundred protesters were arrested after blocking the entrance to the Capitol Building. Among them were Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois) and Judy Chu (D-California).
Police set up tables to process the arrested protesters on the spot.
Protesters chanted the Spanish phrase “Si se puede” meaning ‘Yes we can’ and waved signs in support of the immigration programs.
“We are more than papers!” one sign read.
DACA provides protection from deportation to some 700,000 immigrants who were brought into the US illegally as children. In September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision to rescind the program President Barack Obama issued via executive action in 2012.
Congress was given six months to pass a law that would regulate the status of so-called ‘Dreamers.’ That deadline is now just 50 days away.
The TPS program granted temporary visas that allow immigrants to live and work in the US and not be forced to return to their home countries. 321,220 immigrants from ten different countries in Central America and Africa are in the US under the TPS program, according to the Journal on Migration and Human Security. Many fled natural disasters and violence resulting from US-backed regime change wars.