Utah immigrants and supporters of DACA prepare to march through Salt Lake City

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) A diverse group gathers on the steps of the Utah capitol Tuesday with Comunidades Unidas (Communities United), an organization that says that the Trump adminstration’s plans to end the DACA program is bad for Utah’s families and economy. A larger rally was planned for Saturday, Sept. 16.

A Salt Lake City march showing support for immigrants who could be impacted by the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, begins at noon Saturday at the Wallace Bennett Federal Building.

The “We Are All Dreamers” march is set to end at the Utah State Capitol, where an immigrant-led rally will be held. The event is part of Welcoming Week, a series of Salt Lake City events meant to highlight immigrant and refugee contributions to the capital city.

“Salt Lake City stands as a welcoming city and believes that all people, regardless of where they were born or what they look like, are valued contributors to our shared success and future,” Mayor Jackie Biskupski said in a kickoff speech Friday.

President Donald Trump has announced that DACA would be phased out in six months. The program enacted by an executive order from President Barack Obama in 2012 has allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to legally obtain work permits and attend school, shielding them from deportation.

Some 800,000 around the country are protected by the program. And the future of the approximately 10,500 Utahns protected under DACA became suddenly more uncertain with Trump’s announcement.

Utah politicians, religious leaders and community organizers reacted with concern last week, too — many saying swift legislative action was needed to replace the program. Trump’s announcement noted DACA would be phased out over six months, giving Congress time to “finally act” on a legislative solution.

On Wednesday, however, top House and Senate Democrats said they had reached a deal over dinner with Trump, ensuring ongoing protections for DACA immigrants, while also hashing out a legislative package of beefed-up border security. The deal was initially reported as not including Trump’s big campaign promise of building a border wall.

But soon, Trump was tweeting that no deal had been finalized on DACA with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Still, he indicated he did not have any intention of “throw[ing] out good, educated and accomplished young people.”

“Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” Trump wrote, later adding: “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.”

Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017

…They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017

“It means that nothing is certain and this battle is not over,” the organizers wrote. “We still need you to show up Saturday and show your support for DACA and Utah’s immigrant community as a whole. It’s tempting to be complacent in light of recent news, but now is the time to show up and make our voices heard!”

Speakers slated for Saturday include beneficiaries of DACA, known as dreamers, as well as members of the ACLU of Utah, the Somali Youth Center, the Catholic Community Services of Utah, and local politicians including Biskupski and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

Other activities during the week include “Forced From Home,” an interactive exhibition by Doctor‘s Without Borders on the experiences of refugees. It runs from Sept. 19 – 24 at Library Square.

Also Sept. 19, a free screening of the Sonita, the story of an Afghan refugee who fights against being sold into marriage, will be shown at The Leonardo Museum.

Source Article