Protests and high-profile arrests mark the fifth anniversary of DACA

"This is what America looks like."

Immigrant advocates protest outside the White House on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, the fifth anniversary of the DACA initiative. CREDIT: United We Dream
Immigrant advocates protest outside the White House on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, the fifth anniversary of the DACA initiative. CREDIT: United We Dream

Hundreds of immigrants and allies across the country rallied Tuesday on the fifth anniversary of the implementation of the Obama-era deportation relief program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Since the program’s inception, nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants have been able to apply for the program, work in the United States, and not worry about deportation in two-year increments. With so many opportunities opened up for undocumented immigrants, DACA recipients have made enormous contributions to the country. But the fight to preserve DACA has never been more intense than this year with President Donald Trump in charge. Ten Republican lawmakers have threatened to sue the White House if it does not end the program by September 5.

In the nation’s capital, hundreds of protesters marched to the White House in the muggy weather to call on the president to preserve the program. Beating drums and chanting “no hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here,” “this is what America looks like,” “we are the immigrants, the mighty mighty immigrants,” supporters applauded roughly two dozen people who took part in a civil disobedience action and were arrested on the north side of the White House. Among the high-profile arrests included Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Maryland State Delegate Ana Sol-Gutiérrez (D).

The arrests of advocates and some undocumented immigrants come at a time when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency acting director Thomas Homan has publicly warned all undocumented immigrants that they are not safe from deportation. Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly once said that a “single DUI” could lead to deportation, but recent arrests show that any offense from any time period in one’s life could lead to deportation.

Beyond the nation’s capital, hundreds of people also rallied at 40 scheduled sites across the country. Here are some of those snapshots of other rallies on Tuesday:

Los Angeles, CA

Boston, MA

Austin, TX

Bar Harbor, ME