MIAMI (CBMiami) – More than a 100 people protested the federal government’s inaction on immigration reform marched in downtown Miami Thursday morning at the height of rush hour.
Those taking part in the march wanted lawmakers to fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to live and work here. President Donald Trump rescinded DACA protections last September and gave Congress six months to turn the DACA protections into law.
The protesters also called on the Trump administration to allow those under Temporary Protected Status to stay. The Trump administration has been systematically ending TPS programs for people from Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
The subject of fixing DACA has stalled budget talks which could mean a potential government shutdown Friday at midnight. Democrats are demanding that any spending bill include protections for those undocumented immigrants.
“This country has been built on backs of immigrants and the way that they are treating DACA recipients, TPS recipients, and dividing families is a crime,” said Imara Rojes.
“We are all immigrants, either our generation or the ones before and we want others to have the same opportunity,” said Elena Munious.
Approximately 800,000 young immigrants were brought to the United States as children and received protections under DACA, they are known as Dreamers. Firmate Peters said her family is one of them.
“We contribute to this country, we pay taxes, we have children, and some of us are here for 20-30 years,” said Peters. “This is wrong and inhuman.”
Haitian immigration activist Marleine Bastien said time is running out and lawmakers need to find a way to support DACA recipients and pass a bill in Congress to support TPS recipients. She said the president’s decision to end the protections was not based on facts.
“We fear that the president, based on the comments he made recently, that his decision was based on racism and discrimination and bigotry and not the facts on the ground,” said Bastien.
Trump has said he will agree to a DACA deal in exchange for money to build a wall along the border with Mexico. The president is demanding $18 billion for the project.