DETROIT (WXYZ) — It is a ruling that impacts hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children. The Supreme Court blocked President Donald Trump’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.
President Obama created the program that protects immigrants brought the U.S. as young children from deportation. President Trump argued it was illegal and that DACA recipients should face potential deportation unless Congress acts.
Hours after the ruling, people gathered to celebrate the Supreme Court decision in southwest Detroit. Many of the people who gathered in Clark Park are DACA recipients.
They say the crowd would be much larger if people felt safe. They know many people who have been here since they were young children, who feel American, but fear the country legally will not recognize them.
Samantha Magdaleno works with many immigrant youth who fear for their future through the organization One Michigan for the Global Majority.
“I have been getting phone calls all day of this means I can get DACA now. This means I can apply. It has been very emotional for us, this decision,” she said.
It is not yet clear whether President Trump will allow more people to apply for DACA due to the court ruling.
Many of the people at the rally described the confusion they feel when people say DACA recipients, who all arrived in the United States when they were 16 years old or younger should be held accountable for coming here illegally. They ask, how do you hold a child, toddler, even a baby- responsible?
“I came here when I was 2-years-old,” said Jose Franco, Founder of One Michigan for Immigrants Rights.
“I did come here when I was just one, an infant,” said one young woman who attended the rally who did not want to share her whole name.
“Well, I came here when I was two,” said her sister.
They say their parents came here for good reasons for the sake of their family’s well-being. They say in many cases the U.S. government encourages illegal immigration when it is economically needed, only to then again and again use immigrants to create division and score political points. They say deporting them punishes the victims.
“We’re not just moving in mass amounts of numbers for nothing. The systems that were put in place were wanting cheap economic labor,” said one rally attendee.
“I consider myself American just like anybody else. I would feel lost if I was deported to Mexico i have never been there, at least not that I remember,” said Franco.