‘Dreamers’ and their supporters marched on Washington, D.C., on Monday, which was supposed to be the deadline for Congress to find a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Protesters filled the National Mall holding banners and signs demanding that Congress act to allow Dreamers stay in the country without fear of deportation.
Dreamers and allies gathered on the National Mall to mark March 5 pic.twitter.com/BBgQEtreS3
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) March 5, 2018
We won’t stop fighting. This is our home. “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” Won’t stop until our communities can live w/our fear. #HereToFight #DreamActNow #DefundHate pic.twitter.com/bVUDyTZLpf
— Cristina Jimenez (@CrisAlexJimenez) March 5, 2018
— sophie kaplan (@yofisofi) March 5, 2018
The Senate fell flat on Feb. 15 when it tried in a series of immigration votes to come up with a viable fix for DACA, which gave protected status to some minors brought to this country illegally. Lawmakers were left clueless about what is next for the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers.
President Trump announced last September that he would allow DACA to expire, giving Congress six months to find a legislative solution. The program was the result of an Obama-era executive order, the constitutionality of which has been challenged. The Department of Homeland Security had been renewing DACA permits that expired before the March 5 deadline, and the plan was that permits expiring afterwards would not be eligible for renewal.
However, federal courts ruled Trump could not allow the program’s expiration, and the Supreme Court declined to hear the administration’s appeal of those decisions.
The White House pointed at Democrats for not making Dreamers a priority in recent months.
Democrats “just don’t care” about Dreamers, even though Republicans are ready to make a deal, President Trump tweeted on Monday.
It’s March 5th and the Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA. Gave them 6 months, they just don’t care. Where are they? We are ready to make a deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2018
“The fact that they can’t actually come together and get something done is pathetic,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.
“I think it’s absolutely terrible that Congress has failed to act. The president has given them six months, and he also gave them a plan,” she said.