DACA backers march through Boston, demand policy reinstated

Hundreds of immigrants and activists marched through Boston yesterday to demand the reinstatement of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals — an Obama-era policy that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children — and stress that they won’t rest until it’s done.

“We want to send a clear message to Washington, D.C., where these decisions are coming out of that this isn’t acceptable, that people are going to be organized around saying, ‘no,’ ” said Matt Andrews, of the Boston May Day Coalition, which helped organize yesterday’s rally.

“We can’t rely on politicians to negotiate on our behalf,” he said. “We feel like the pressure needs to come from below to really secure our futures.”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier this month that the White House would end DACA in six months, putting the onus on Congress to pass a law that would protect the roughly 800,000 immigrants who are currently protected by the policy.

Last week, President Trump and Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi said they discussed a deal that would preserve DACA in exchange for increased border security measures. Bay State U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey both said they would support that deal.

“The DACA repeal is not just something that affects our youth like myself, it affects our family, it affects our friends and it affects our community,” said Cata Santiago, a DACA recipient who came with her family from Mexico when she was 5. “I am outraged and I am also unafraid. This is a moment to take action.”

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