ATLANTA -- From Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta to across the country, there’s an angry outcry against President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The Obama-era DACA program protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
“This does not mean they are bad people or that our nation disrespects or demeans them in any way,” Jeff Sessions said. “It means we are properly enforcing our laws as congress has passed them.”
"People think in terms of children but they're really young adults," President Trump said. "I have a love for these people and, hopefully, now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly."
It means loss of protection for nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants. Scattered across the country, the immigrant workforce increased significantly from 2009 to 2014. But, in some states like Georgia, there has been a major decrease. There are about 28,000 in our state.
Photos | DACA rally held in Atlanta on Labor Day
The Trump administration and some members of his own party are now at odds over the DACA decision.
“Kids will be thrown back into the darkness,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “That doesn’t help a broken immigration system by ruining these kids’ lives.”
“It’s not cold-hearted for the president to uphold the law – we are a nation of law and order,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
This is an emotional day for metro Atlanta resident Maria Cruzado Jeanneau. A graduate of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, she crossed the U.S. border from Peru illegally wither parents 13 years ago.
“It’s difficult to know there are people out there who don’t believe in who we are,” she said. “We desire to be an American just like any other individual.”
So, here’s what’s next: The president is now forcing Congress to take sides and giving lawmakers 6 months to come up with a better plan.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta City Council is already speaking out. Councilman Kwanza Hall introduced a resolution calling on his colleagues to support and project Atlanta’s immigrant community. The resolution passed overwhelmingly.