Erik McGregor Photography

Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist.

Over fifty DACA recipients and allies were arrested in Sit-Ins throughout New York City after Sessions announces repeal of DACA



New York City, NY – In response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to announcing the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program today, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets on September 5, 2017; holding rallies with DACA recipients. Over fifty people engaging in non-violent civil disobedience were arrested throughout New York City in response to Trump’s decision to repeal DACA. 

The Trump administration announced today that it will phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects over 800,000 young people, who were brought to the United States as children, from deportation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a news briefing this morning that the Department of Homeland Security will allow the program to wind down in six months if Congress does not pass legislation.


In response to Trump’s decision to repeal DACA, nine undocumented youth were arrested at Trump Tower in a civil disobedience on Tuesday morning at 11:30. For the DACA recipients participating in this action, the threat of facing ICE retaliation is real- just as it was seven years ago when the first undocumented youth began risking arrest and coming out as ‘Undocumented and Unafraid’. Hundreds of immigrant workers, DACA recipients and allies rally in support.
The repeal of DACA, together with the likely repeal of TPS, means that over a million immigrant workers stand to lose their jobs. It means massive layoffs across the country, at an unprecedented scale. Over the course of the next two years, an average of 1,400 DACA workers will lose their jobs every single day. DACA and TPS recipients with families that depend on them to get by will no longer be able to support their parents and children. 

“Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA means that September 5th, 2017 will be remembered as a dark day in our nation’s history,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “America will not be safer or richer by depriving nearly one million young people of their liberty, tearing away 700,000 workers from our labor force or robbing the U.S. economy of $460 billion in GDP.  This is a senseless and self-defeating act which flies in the face of the principles that truly make America great: opportunity and justice for all.” 


DACA is an important economic development tool for the nation, providing educational and job opportunities previously unavailable to nearly 1 million young people; 65% of DACA recipients are currently in school, and of those, 70% are currently working. 

New York State protects more than 50,000 DACA recipients, one of the largest populations in the nation. Repealing DACA will significantly harm the local to economy as DACA recipients pay more than $140 million in state and local taxes and contribute nearly $2.6 billion to New York’s annual GDP. 91% of DACA recipients are employed nationwide. 

“Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA is appalling and disgraceful,” said Angie Kim, DACA recipient and community organizer at MinKwon Center for Action. “This will in effect jeopardize over 800,000 innocent young lives including myself. I will stand with my undocumented community until we have justice.”

According to a memo released by the Department of Homeland Security the following policies are effective immediately: 

* The administration won’t consider new applications for legal status dated after Sept. 5.
* Those who are not currently protected by the program may not file for an application, but those submitted before Tuesday will continue to be processed.
* Anyone who has a DACA permit expiring between now and March 5, 2018, can apply for a two-year renewal. That application must be submitted by Oct. 5.
* Those with permits that expire between now and March 5, 2018 will be eligible for legal status for another two-plus years. For others, legal status ends as early as March 6, 2018.

Today’s announcement comes after nine states led by Texas threatened to sue the Trump Administration unless it moved to end the program by Tuesday. A coalition of legal experts, business leaders, elected officials and advocacy groups called on the Trump administration to uphold the program. 


DACA allowed individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children or teens before mid-2007 to apply for protection from deportation and work permits if they met certain requirements. Beneficiaries had to be under the age of 16 upon entering the country; no older than 31 as of June 15, 2012; lived continuously in the U.S. since mid-2007; be enrolled in high school or college, already have a diploma or degree, have a GED certificate or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. military; and have no felony criminal convictions, significant misdemeanor convictions, no more than three other misdemeanor convictions or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

“This is about the heart and soul of America — who we are, what we believe, and how we treat young people. Every Dreamer should know that we are prepared to fight. New York City won’t give up, because we will always stand up for right over wrong,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said.

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