WASHINGTON – Some 600 people marched in the rain in the US capital on Wednesday to hail what several organizations dubbed the National Day of Action against Trump’s White Supremacy, a demonstration rejecting President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
“Trump says that he will offer a path to citizenship to young undocumented people if the country accepts his white supremacist demands,” Cristina Jimenez, one of the founders of United We Dream, said at a Lutheran church near the Capitol where marchers gathered before heading toward the Capitol in the rain.
Two weeks ago, the president proposed to Congress an immigration reform deal that would provide a path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented people – known as Dreamers – brought to the US as children in exchange for $25 billion in funding to build his much-touted wall along the US-Mexico border and to strengthen border security.
The activist criticized the fact that the president’s latest immigration proposal uses the Dreamers as a bargaining chip and said that “it would devastate families” if it were ever implemented, since it would supersede current family reunification mechanisms.
The day of protest is an initiative organized by assorted organizations including United We Dream, Women’s March, the Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights and CASA de Maryland, among others.
Organizers say the initiative’s main objective is to pressure Congress to approve “clean and permanent” immigration legislation for the 1.8 million undocumented migrants calculated to be eligible for citizenship and to reject Trump’s “anti-immigrant” rhetoric.
Undocumented 19-year-old Mexican Benerissa Davila, whose protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program expires at the end of this year, told EFE that “We need the support of Congress to get a law that doesn’t hurt our people. We’re young immigrants who contribute work, sacrifice and (good) qualities to US society.”
Republican and Democratic lawmakers reached a budget deal on Wednesday, but it does not include any protection for the Dreamers, although Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Senate debate on the issue will begin in the coming days.
March organizers told EFE that they will meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to make him aware of the “urgent need” to find a solution for the Dreamers.