Pro-immigrant groups protest the decision to end DACA program

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Immigrant organizations were in front of the federal building in downtown Los Angeles Thursday to protest the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program two years ago.

"We are here and we are fighting. We have the right to express our feelings and our emotions...we have the right to work and we have a right to be here," said 'Briselda' who is undocumented and only wanted to give her first name.

DACA recipient Freddy Pedro says he is very worried.

"About a year ago my parents were actually detained by immigration. All of this caused a lot of anxiety, a lot of depression and a lot of distraction from school as well. I was even close to dropping out because I wanted to help my parents more," Pedro said.

There are about 800,000 DACA recipients in the United States.

President Barack Obama created the program in 2012 through executive action. Undocumented immigrants brought illegally into the U.S. as children were allowed to stay in the country. In September 2017 the Trump administration ended the program through executive action but opponents say he couldn't do that.

"Even an executive order requires due process and that's our argument...that there was a due process to get DACA and that there is a due process requirement to get rid of it," said Luis Perez from Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

There are nine cases against the government. Several courts have ruled against ending the program. The Supreme Court will hear the case next month.

"DACA is under attack. Our students, our friends and loved ones are in danger of having to fear for their safety. If the courts take it away, our dreams are again up in the air," said Lisbeth Garcia Nunez, a DACA recipient.

The Supreme Court could issue a decision next spring or summer just as the presidential election campaign will be in full swing.
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