Crowds of protestors joined forces in front of the Trump International Hotel in Columbus Circle on Saturday to condemn the President's repeal of the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals law, and demand "permanent protection, dignity, and respect" for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in America.
The rally was punctuated by an 11-minute sit-down, followed by a march up Central Park West to 72nd Street, which then looped back down to Columbus Circle through the park. The Post reports that "at least 3,000" were gathered.
Fearing disruptions of car traffic, the NYPD deployed multiple units—officers on bicycles and scooters, as well as Community Response Team officers on foot—to keep the protest on the sidewalk, with an LRAD bolted to the back of a pickup blasting warnings of arrest. For the most part, however, the afternoon's action was a peaceful one.
Most of the speakers at the rally, and many of the activists in the crowd, would qualify as Dreamers, young men and women here legally today thanks to DACA, which grants them a two-year, renewable work visa. Gloria Mendoza, a 26-year-old living in Bushwick who has been in America since she was nine, expressed her gratitude for the program, but also her determination to fight for a less precarious solution.
"Its been overwhelming, the support we've received," Mendoza said. "It's great, and it has a lot to do with what we contribute to the economy, but I think it's also important to remember that we're humans, and that immigrant rights are human rights and shouldn't just be about what we contribute financially. I don't know what's going to happen in six months when Trump's repeal goes into effect, but I do know I'm going to be on the streets every day until Congress passes a law giving us permanent protection from deportation."
Last week, a number of rallies across the country took place to protest the Trump administration's actions regarding DACA. NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading a lawsuit against the repeal.