Scores of demonstrators staged an emotional sit-in outside Trump Tower in Manhattan Tuesday morning, after the Trump administration said it would phase out protections for young immigrants known as Dreamers. The protesters sat, linked arms, and sang, halting traffic for a time along Fifth Avenue, before many were handcuffed and led to a police van.
A New York Police Department spokesman told Mother Jones that 34 protesters were arrested by 3 p.m.
“It’s overwhelming, so much that for a long time I hid myself, but I’m tired of hiding, and the country needs to know that they need us,” said Dulce Gomez, a 19-year-old activist. “Our pain is not only for ourselves, but our families.”
“Eight hundred thousand of us are going to lose the only protection we’ve ever had,” said Thais Marques, who promised to keep fighting. “We are going to demand permanent protection.”
Watch the scene outside the president’s New York residence unfold in the video above.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, was created by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to protect the roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants living in the United States who had arrived as children, allowing them to work legally without the threat of deportation. Under terms set out by the Trump administration on Tuesday, Congress has six months to pass legislation before Dreamers begin to lose their protected status.