The arguments at the Supreme Court over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program drew crowds of protesters from around the country on Tuesday.
Throngs of demonstrators gathered at the steps of the Supreme Court in support of the DACA program, which President Trump moved to end in 2017. Multiple groups quickly challenged his authority to terminate it, and the case has finally reached the nation’s highest court.
DACA has provided protections for hundreds of thousands of so-called Dreamers against deportation.
Protesters filled the Washington streets in front of the court as the initial oral arguments ended, chanting “Up, up with liberation. Down, down with deportation.”
And protesters also targeted Trump for repealing the program with chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”
— Jazmine Ulloa (@jazmineulloa) November 12, 2019
Videos of the protests showed activists playing drums and other instruments as they marched toward the high court, while other protesters demanded “justice for our people.”
Immigrant youth marched on the Supreme Court this morning to defend DACA from the Trump administration pic.twitter.com/BZHRjnAf5T
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 12, 2019
‼️ HAPPENING NOW ‼️ Organizers, immigrant leaders, and allies just arrived at the Supreme Court of the United States in support of #DACA recipients and our immigrant community. #HomeIsHere #HereToStay pic.twitter.com/HBWyz9fdFa
— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) November 12, 2019
Some of those who watched the oral arguments inside the court walked out locking arms to show unification in support of the program.
What a powerful moment!
Those present inside the Supreme Court for the #DACA oral arguments walk out unified and locked arm to arm ✊
— CHIRLA (@CHIRLA) November 12, 2019
The presidential campaign for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic contender, helped organize the Home is Here Rally in support of DACA, asking supporters in an email to RSVP a week before the demonstrations.
“We must stand in solidarity and show the Trump administration that their cruel and harmful policies will not stand,” an email from the group read.
The crowd began gathering at the steps of the Supreme Court as early as 9 a.m., an hour before the start of oral arguments.
Capitol Police eventually had to block off First Street and part of Maryland Ave. NE., around 10:30 a.m. as the protests swelled. When Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) arrived at the court around that time, she was greeted with cheers from the crowd.
Among those at the event was a group from the Home is Here coalition. The group left New York City on Oct. 26, and marched to Washington, D.C., arriving on Sunday.
Activists also organized a national walkout for high school and college students across the country.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for three cases over the administration’s cancellation of DACA. Trump has argued that former President Obama abused his executive power in creating the program, and that ending DACA would curtail illegal immigration in the country. His decision to cancel the program was challenged in court.
He tweeted Tuesday saying the DACA recipients are “no longer very young, are far from ‘angels,’” describing some as “very tough, hardened criminals.”
Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from “angels.” Some are very tough, hardened criminals. President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2019
Updated at 1:27 p.m.