Students across North Texas rallied together to protest President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the DACA program.
In Fort Worth, a couple of hundred students protested the decision outside the county courthouse on Wednesday. The school walkout was organized through social media. A similar but smaller rally also took place on the TCU campus.
SKY 4 was overhead when the crowd of Fort Worth high school students started gathering after walking out of a crowd that later swelled to a couple of hundred.
“We live in a time with phobia and where racism is okay and people are allowed to say hateful things,” said protester Rebecca Galindo. “We're supposed to protect children. Children are not being protected.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Dallas leaders called on members of Congress to work on bipartisan immigration reform and legislative action they hope will protect the 800,000 young people currently covered by DACA and their families.
“If our administration and federal leaders had just an ounce of the courage that our dreamers have and our undocumented community has, our country would be in a very different way right,” said Dr. Patty Garcia with the Latino Center for Leadership Development.
DACA has had a huge impact on some families. 25-year-old Mariaelena De La Cruz is a new mom and a social work graduate student at UTA who aspires to be a drug abuse counselor.
“Right before I was about to go to college, DACA came up and it was the answer to my prayers,” she said.
De La Cruz is now worried she, three of her sisters and her husband could be at risk of deportation. All are students or graduate students brought to the U.S. as kids.
“I'm confident that something will come up,” she said. “We are going to keep praying.”
Republican leaders seemed to echo the sentiment as the clock ticks on the six-month deadline.
“These kids don't — for the most part — don't know any other home than the United States,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan. “So I think the President was right to give us the time we need to find that compromise. Where does that compromise exist? That's what we're going to spend the next months figuring out where that compromise is.”
Another rally is planned for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Dallas City Hall organized by the Texas Resistance Coalition.