Hundreds in Los Angeles protest potential undoing of DACA

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Los Angeles Friday to express their feelings about an expected decision from President Donald Trump on whether to keep or do away with Obama-era immigration program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

"We want DACA Now," many in the crowd chanted.

About 200 people showed up outside the federal building in downtown Los Angeles. They said ending the DACA program would destroy families.

"I feel like I've grown with DACA and it's been this false sense of security," said Yael Pineda, a DACA recipient.

Pineda received DACA protection her senior year in high school. She worries what would happen if it's suddenly taken away.

"It scares me honestly because I know my work that I have right now it is through DACA," she said.

DACA protects about 800,000 people who don't have legal status. It was set up by President Barack Obama as an executive order and President Trump can end it the same way.

"Keep the DACA program. Have compassion. Have common sense. Have a vision of America of which these young people who are contributing in every single way to this nation should be included," said Angelica Salas of CHIRLA.

Some Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, think the program should stay in place at least for now.

"I knew life before DACA and I got that taste of that same privilege that everybody else has because they were born here, but if I have to go back I just know that I'm not going back the same person. I'm not. I'm not going back," said Diana, another DACA recipient.

California attorney general Xavier Becerra is waiting to see what Trump does.

"We are looking at every option, both legally and otherwise and we are prepared to do everything we can legally and otherwise depending on what the president does," said Becerra.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.