Nashville Protest Denounces Trump/Pence Attacks on DACA Immigrant Youth

August 5, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On August 3, about 200 people from around Tennessee protested outside a Nashville fundraiser for Republicans, featuring Trump’s VP Mike Pence. Many of the people in the protest were “Dreamers,” people who were brought to the U.S. as undocumented children and have been given legal work permits and temporary relief from deportations under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That is, until Trump and Pence got into the White House. As part of their overall ramped-up attacks on immigrants, the Trump/Pence regime has been threatening to end DACA, putting 800,000 Dreamers in danger of being kicked out of the place they grew up in, separated from their families and friends, and forced to end their education.

One of the protesters, Nashville resident Cesar Bautista, said, “As they’re enjoying their dinner, having peace of mind, DACA recipients like myself have to worry, wondering: what is our future going to look like if DACA is taken away?”

Another DACA recipient, Alondra Gomez, told the other protesters that she came to Chattanooga, Tennessee, from Mexico when she was five years old. She recalled, “Dance was going to be my way out of the poverty and the pain that comes with being undocumented in America. Then DACA happened. When I received that work permit, my life changed.” She enrolled in a community college to be a medical assistant and now works at a clinic in her community. And she is about to begin her studies at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. But, said Gomez, for her and others, “All of this is under the threat of being snatched away in a blink of an eye.”

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, which organized the protest, says, “Since inauguration day, the president has been carrying out his draconian campaign promises of mass deportations. In the first 100 days of the administration, immigration arrests were already up nearly 40% over the previous year. Across the country, and here in Tennessee, ICE has been terrorizing communities and separating families.”

At the end of June, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery was among attorneys general of 10 states and one governor who sent a letter to Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, declaring that if DACA is not ended by September 5 this year, they will sue in federal courts.

Aurora Padilla, now 18, came to Nashville with her family from Mexico when she was four. After being accepted for DACA, she began to work to save up for college and is going to begin at Middle Tennessee State University this fall. Padilla, who works with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, said at the Nashville protest, “We didn’t really have a choice in coming here or not. We’ve been brought up here. We’ve built our life here. We want to continue to stay here.”



Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.