LA protestors voice support for 'Dreamer' immigrants

 11 Sep 2017 - 10:03

LA protestors voice support for 'Dreamer' immigrants
LAS VEGAS, NV: Immigrants and supporters chant outside the New York-New York Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip during a "We Rise for the Dream" rally to oppose US President Donald Trump's order to end DACA on September 10, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

AFP

Los Angeles: Thousands of people took to the streets of Los Angeles Sunday to protest US President Donald Trump's decision to rescind a program that deferred deportations of immigrants who had arrived illegally as children.

"No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA!" demonstrators chanted as they gathered in a park before marching through a Latino neighborhood in the California metropolis.

Trump, in a decision hostile to undocumented immigrants, recently abrogated an order issued by his predecessor Barack Obama that protected some 800,000 young people by granting them temporary legal status as part of The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA).

"I came when I was just a baby," said one protestor, Sophia Begar, who arrived with her parents from Mexico.

"It's just really uneasy, really scary," the 19-year-old told AFP. "I've been here my whole life and now I'm gonna be kicked out to my home country -- that I don't know anything about."

Trump's move fulfilled a campaign promise of zero tolerance toward illegal immigrants.

But at the same time the president insisted he is showing compassion for the Dreamers, many of whom have known only the United States and speak only English, by giving Congress six months to craft a lasting legal solution. 

Congress must now reopen debate over immigration reform, which ignited controversy in 2001, 2006 and 2013.

Paula Hernandez, 24, isn't confident that this time will be different.

"Congress has a very bad track record; they don't get anything done," she said. 

But "I existed before DACA, I continue to exist," said the young woman who arrived in the US from Mexico at seven years old. 

"It's just 10 times harder."