Hundreds of immigration advocates and supporters attend a rally and march to Trump Tower in New York in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, on Aug. 30, 2017.
Rep. Rubén Kihuen (D-Nev.) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), the first members of Congress who came to America as undocumented immigrants, joined the chorus of Democrats calling for the extension of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, with a letter telling President Trump to consider their life stories before making a decision.
“We both remember arriving in the United States, speaking limited English, and being fearful of deportation,” Kihuen and Espaillat wrote. “Our backgrounds and the trajectory of our careers have been humbling, and show how, with the right opportunities, anyone can achieve the American Dream. Hearing about the looming threat to other young men and women who may be deprived of that American Dream is extremely concerning, and is causing fear in communities throughout the country.”
All day Thursday, congressional Democrats and activist groups escalated their defenses of DACA, the five-year-old program that allows children brought to the United States illegally to live and work with government licenses. Immigration hard-liners have successfully used the threat of a lawsuit by 10 Republican attorneys general, which has no real authority to end the program, to urge the end of DACA by Sept. 5. All week, immigrant groups and liberal and business allies have organized rallies and quiet, behind-the-scenes pressure to hold the president off.
Their tone grew more combative on Thursday after Fox News, Reuters and McClatchy, citing White House sources, suggested that the president had decided to halt DACA — an occasional campaign promise he abandoned this year. The Women’s March, which has continued to organize locally since its Jan. 21 event in Washington, said in a tweet that its supporters would make Trump’s “life impossible.”Activists marching from Charlottesville to Washington, to raise awareness of the threat of white supremacy, added the possible end of DACA to their agenda.