Activists Gather at DACA Rally Downtown

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Nearly 100 people turned out for a “Defend DACA” rally in downtown Saint Louis Tuesday night.

Sara John with the local Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America says Saint Louis would definitely be affected by Washington’s possible “phase-out” of the program.

READ MORE: Senator Blunt: Commonsense Needed on DACA

“To talk numbers, about four and a half percent of our population is an immigrant population. We know that approximately 3500 people have received DACA in Missouri,” she says.

Alfredo Chavez of “Latinos in Action” says the process leaves children feeling like they’re being hunted.

“It’s really hard right now, for whole families. They don’t know what’s going to be the next step,” he says.

Eighteen-year-old college student Vivian Garcia-Cruz is determined to be one of the “Faces of DACA”. She said she’d like for all St. Louisans to realize that some of their classmates, friends and neighbors could ultimately be deported.

“Go to school and go to work and talk about it, versus saying it’s not happening here, it’s happening in Texas or California, but it’s local, it’s happening here as of right now,” she says.

U-S attorney general Jeff Sessions announced yesterday that the Trump Administration will give Congress six months to come up with an alternative to the “Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals” program or face its possible termination. Supporters plan to visit Senator Claire McCaskill’s Saint Louis office Wednesday afternoon to urge her to do more to push back against possible deportation of DACA students.

University of Illinois officials say the decision from President Trump’s administration to wind down a program protecting young immigrants from deportation, creates uncertainty for some students.

READ MORE: Ending DACA Creates Uncertainty for U of Illinois Students

The university system’s president and chancellors of its campuses sent a letter to students, faculty and staff Tuesday afternoon.

UI officials say eliminating DACA isn’t consistent with the school’s commitment to providing an education to all “qualified and deserving” students.

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