(PHOENIX) — Immigrants are vowing to fight to stay in the U.S. and advocates are launching campaigns including fundraisers and registration drives after the Trump administration announced it would dismantle a program that protected hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation.
Immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children or whose families overstayed visas said they are veterans of setbacks in the political arena. They added that they are also accustomed to being persistent, and they pledge to do the same in this situation.
The Trump administration announced Tuesday it was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that former President Barack Obama started in 2012. Those already enrolled in DACA remain covered until their permits expire. If their permits expire before March, 5, 2018, they are eligible to renew them for another two years as long as they apply by Oct. 5. But the program isn’t accepting new applications.
Opponents of the program said they are pleased the Trump administration’s decision. They called DACA an unconstitutional abuse of executive power.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who made Tuesday’s announcement, said DACA was an overreach that could not be defended by the Justice Department. The Trump administration and other DACA opponents argue that it is up to Congress to decide how to deal with such immigrants.
Immigrants and activists have already launched efforts to fight the decision.
A group that supports the program in Arizona is using a community summit this weekend to hold a session on DACA and reapplying. Another is holding an information session on Wednesday on the program.
Maxima Guerrero, a leadership development coordinator for the Phoenix-based advocacy group Aliento, said her organization is considering creating a fundraising campaign to help DACA recipients renew before the October deadline.
“A lot of it right now is just kind of like first, taking the time to reflect on what the decision means, and what is happening. Making sure that people who are able to renew will have the support to do so,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero, who is also enrolled in the program, said…