Tucson community and DACA students march on City Hall
The UA and Tucson community protest President Donald Trump's decision to end DACA on Sept. 5 and 6.
Members of the Tucson community protested the recent reversal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policies and marched from De Anza Park to Tucson City Hall Wednesday, Sept. 6. Individuals gathered for a peaceful protest in numbers that exceeded expectations.
The Trump Administration rescinded DACA policies, affecting approximately 800,000 children and young adults currently taking advantage of the program, including just less than 50 at the UA.
DACA recipients and supporters marched and protested with a list of demands; participants asked the government to defend DACA, legalize all immigrants and abstain from the construction of a border wall.
“DACA means the ability to work, the ability to go to school, the ability to buy a house, the ability to reach for your educational goals and the ability to be counted as a part of this community," said Jessica Rodriguez, community organizer for Living United for Change in Arizona.
Rodriguez stood on a picnic table located at the center of De Anza Park teaching protesters chants; she emphasized the fact that this was to be a peaceful rally. Chanting with her were community members, UA students, local groups and DACA students themselves.
“DACA students are dreamers," said Gabriela Baruch-Mayo, a DACA recipient and member of Mariposas Sin Fronteras. "We do a lot for this country as taxpayers, students, employers and employees. Our value is immense.”
As a DACA recipient, Baruch-Mayo will be directly impacted by the recent DACA decision. She urges her community to get involved by donating, volunteering and protesting.
“We don't need allies, we need accomplices,” Baruch-Mayo said.
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UA students have been protesting in response to the announcement of the DACA program’s termination. Approximately 100 students took to the mall, showing support for their DACA peers Tuesday, Sept. 5. Students took to the streets for the protest at City Hall.
“Revoking DACA is absolutely cruel," said Michaela Davenport, UA sophomore and protest participant. "I want to ensure everyone in our community can continue to stay in the place that raised them. Everyone should be welcome in their home.”
Tucson organizations such as Mariposas Sin Fronteras, LUPE, LUCHA and Scholarships AZ, which support DACA students, urge UA students to get involved. Students can also show support through donations towards legal workshops and the DACA legal fund.
“It's important for students to get involved because people affected by this policy are our friends, neighbors and fellow students," Davenport said. "We need to stand by them.”
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