Thousands of people from all walks of life and ethnic origins, including Filipino Americans, marched through the streets of Los Angeles to protest the Trump administration’s ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The protesters bearing handmade signs started massing up at 3 p.m. MacArthur Park at Alvarado St. and moved through Echo Park Lake and ended at Placito Olvera.
The Los Angeles police closed dozens of streets and freeway ramps to let the march proceed unimpeded to its destination.
Motorists were forced to wait out. Some drivers honked wildly to show support to the marchers while others put out their own signs from their vehicles’ windows. The marchers cheered and applauded motorists who displayed support to their cause.
The marchers chanted “No, no, Trump has got to go,” “this is what Democracy looks like,” and other slogans as the march snaked through the city streets.
There was an improvised stage at Placito Olvera where leaders and speakers for participating organizations gave impassioned speeches.
Mike Manalo, who spoke for Filipino American group called KmB/Pro-people Youth, denounced the Trump administration for terminating the program that has shielded some 800,000 undocumented people from deportation. The DACA recipients, better known as DREAMers, were persons who were brought in the US when they were children.
Manalo, who said he was an educator, told the crowd that the termination of the DACA program hurt, not only the Asia Pacific islanders, but as well as the Filipino American community.
He urged Filipino Americans “with education” to donate funds for the efforts to compel the government to renew the DACA program.
Another leader, Ivy Quicho, national chairperson of AF3IRM, also denounced the termination of DACA. She told out that majority of DACA recipient were women.
“It is no coincidence that we transnational women are the majority of immigrants imported between and among countries. We women… are vulnerable to deportation because we are forced in the informal economy as caregivers, as garment workers and as street vendors,” Quicho pointed out.
But Quicho concluded that women have the power to lead the movement for change and equity.
In a related development, the Filipino Migrant Center (FMC) issued a statement that said it “stands with the thousands of courageous undocumented young people throughout the U.S. who have been fighting for immigration relief for their families and won the creation of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program in 2012 through an executive order by President Obama.”
“We condemn in the strongest terms the decision of the Trump administration to rescind the DACA program which has provided 800,000+ undocumented young people with temporary opportunities to work and protection from deportation. These young people have relied on DACA for the livelihood and survival of their families. They have become teachers, scientists, and leaders who have made positive contributions to our communities. We are concerned for the severe and devastating impacts that the termination of the program will bring on the lives of our bright and talented young people,” the FMC statement said.
“The rescinding of DACA is a reflection of the anti-immigrant and racist character of the current administration. Despite the findings of 104 legal experts in August 2017 finding DACA as a legitimate exercise of prosecutorial discretion or executive power, the Trump administration insists on the unc