BOSTON (CBS) – About 150 people gathered at Faneuil Hall on Wednesday for a rally hours after President Trump decided to end a program aimed at protecting young immigrants from deportation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Trump administration will phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. President Trump gave Congress six months to come up with an alternative to DACA.
Filipe Zamborlini is a former DACA recipient, he now has a green card.
“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals gave me one word: opportunity. That’s all we are looking for. We can thrive given the opportunity,” Zamborlini said.
Diana Ortiz Giron is a Dreamer who graduated from Harvard.
“For me, my mom came when I was six-years-old, her dream was that I would have a better childhood than the one that she had in Mexico,” said Giron. “I majored in history, I know more American history than the average American. I love this country, it is my home.”
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker says President Trump’s decision to end DACA is “wrong.”
The Obama-era order protected as many as 800,000 foreigners, known as “dreamers,” who entered the United States illegally as children.
But Sessions said it was an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”
According to Baker, 8,000 of the dreamers live in Massachusetts and “are right now serving in our military, attending our schools and contributing to our economy while striving to give back to their communities.”
DACA recipients are given work permits which last for two years. The administration will phase out the program by allowing current permits to expire. Requests for new permits which have already been submitted will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
“Turning our backs on Dreamers makes us weaker, makes us less safe, and betrays our values,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said in a statement. “America should keep its promises, and if President Trump doesn’t know that, then Congress must pass legislation to make the DACA program permanent. We cannot sit back while our family, friends, and neighbors are driven out of their homes.”
“DACA has been challenged in court and has been left standing. More importantly, these are young people doing everything right and playing by the rules,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
A 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard is one of the thousands of young men and women wondering what will happen next.
The student, who did not want to be identified, came to the U.S. with his family from Peru when he was five years old and settled in Tennessee.
DACA allowed him to get a Social Security number, a driver’s license, a work permit and a bank account.
But he could soon have trouble finding a job, driving a car or finding a place to live.
“My main ways of accessing local resources and feeling secure about accessing those local resources would be in jeopardy,” he told WBZ-TV.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports