On Tuesday morning, as Jeff Sessions announced that the administration was ending DACA, a cluster of demonstrators from the immigrant-rights group Movimiento Cosecha stood in a plaza near Trump Tower, listening to speakers shout their defiance through tears. Many of the protesters personally benefited from DACA, a program that protects 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Their faces were resolute, but some couldn’t stop their eyes from watering and their lips from trembling. “I don’t know how to feel,” said Fidel Escalona, 27, who’s had DACA status since the program began five years ago. “They’re just crushing our dreams right now.” Nearby, his 22-year-old brother, also a DACA recipient, held a sign: “People said United States is the land of opportunities. So I came here looking for them but I can’t find them.”
DACA recipients Jose Luis Santiago and Catalina Santiago–who also happen to be brother and sister–were both arrested Wednesday outside of the Texas Capitol in Austin. The goal of the action was to demand “permanent protection, dignity, and respect” for all undocumented immigrants, not just the ones eligible for DACA.
In the United States, protesters vowed to participate in civil disruptions throughout the day to draw attention to the importance of immigrants in American communities. "On this day, we will not go to work. We will not go to school. We will not buy anything," said Francisca Santiago, a farmworker from Homestead, Florida.
Thousands of Latino immigrants, activists, workers and allies took to the streets on Monday to join in on the national Day Without Immigrants strike. People in more than 40 cities across the country marched and protested.
In Grand Rapids, MI, a group of immigrants asked for acceptance, celebrated their heritage and pledged to fight for the rights they say are being denied and disrespected. Hundreds took part in the second "Day Without Immigrants" march on Monday, May 1.