On Saturday Madisonians gathered and marched up State street to the capitol building protesting the Trump administration’s September 5 decision to end the DACA program.
The Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, started in 2012 under President Obama, protected hundreds of thousand son people who immigrated to the U.S. as children undocumented.
Capitol Police project close to 1,000 people came together to reject the action chanting “undocumented and unafraid,” and “defend DACA, Trump is caca.”
The march began and Bascom Hill and eventually progressed into the capitol building where undocumented youth spoke about their experiences and the effects of the recent decision.
“We’ve been growing up, going to school, making friends, only to be told we can no longer pursue our dreams because we are illegal,” said one high school age speaker.
Jose Rea, former city council candidate for district 14, were among the protest organizers.
“Like we saw today with our speakers, our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, our doctors our teachers, [DACAmented people] are everywhere in this community and if we take that away we take away the soul and the heart of the United States,” said Rea
“This isn’t just a Latino issue,” added organizer Karen Perez-Wilson. “This is an everyone’s issue. We have people who are undocumented from all different skin colors, religions, sexual orientations, physical abilities and we all tried our best to show that through this.”
Organizers called for people to continue their protest beyond the march by contacting their local legislatures to push for immigration reform.
Wisconsin Dreamers have been urging House Speaker Paul Ryan to speak out against ending the program.
On Wednesday Ryan did come out and say that it was “not in our nation’s interest” to deport the 800,000 people protected by the program, but he does agree with the administration’s decisions to end the program stating that it should be done gradually so not to “create chaos.”
Organizers of Saturday’s protest say it is not just DACA recipients who need protection.
“We have a very broken immigration system,” said Rea. “It’s not only affecting our Dreamers, but it’s also affecting 11 million people here in the U.S., immigration policy in general is a huge problem here.