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Protests against the dismantling of DACA

Protests against the dismantling of DACA

In Woodstock, Illinois, a prayer vigil was held on Sunday. It was to protest the dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the Trump administration, and local detention of immigrants based solely on their immigration status, which violates the Trust Act. The Trust Act is an Illinois law that bans the arrest or detention of people for their immigration status. Recently, McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim has allegedly been breaking the Trust Act and jailing people who had committed no crime. The candlelight vigil was led by Rockford Police Chaplin Lou Ness, who is an ordained deacon in the Episcopal church. After praying and singing, the protesters marched from the park where they had met to the prison where the immigrants were being held. One attendee, Anna Marie Platt-Miller, said, “As a Christian, it’s important to support those who are persecuted. I have known and still know many ‘Dreamers.’ I support their struggles. America should be a country of welcoming. It says on the Statue of Liberty: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ That’s what it should be about – maintaining the ability to work, study and live as most have been doing, and to do so without fear.”

In Tecate, a small town in Mexico, a French street artist, JR, created a long table extending on either sides of the border wall. On the table, he painted “the eyes of a Dreamer.” People gathered on both sides of the wall to break bread together. There was a band, half on each side of the wall, and even the border guards shared tea with the protesters. A post on his Instagram shows people sitting on benches at the “giant picnic,” as he called it. “[P]eople eating the same food, sharing the same water, enjoying the same music… around the eye of a dreamer.” JR had expected the table to be taken down, saying that he thought the picnic “was clearly forbidden.” JR is known for his over-sized installations, many with political overtones.


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Quentin Durward

I am not a fan of show boating and this strikes me as an example of self promotion. It is hard to see this as anything but an opportunist’s exploitation of people who don’t like Trump regardless of the fact that DACA is outside the scope of presidential authority. Let me quote President Obama,

“With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed. . . . The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. . . . There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”

I too am unhappy with what is going on but it would be better mobilize in favor of something for a change. In this case, in favor of legislation that can make a difference.

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