As the Trump administration continues to take aim at sanctuary cities and carry out a "draconian" immigration agenda that has led to a large spike in detentions, undocumented youth immigrants and activists took to the streets of Austin, Texas, on Wednesday to both demand that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) be kept in place and to "pledge their renewed commitment to winning permanent protection, dignity, and respect for all eleven million undocumented immigrants."
Wednesday marks the first time undocumented youth have carried out a day of civil disobedience of this magnitude since President Donald Trump took office, according to Movimiento Cosecha, the group that organized the effort.
In a statement, Cosecha organizers said that Wednesday's actions were meant to call attention to the fact that Texas "leads the country in mass deportations and recently passed SB4, the most anti-immigrant statewide law."
"With DACA under threat, we know that some will put their hope in D.C. politicians. But we also know that we won DACA not because of any politician, but because our community took fearless action," said Maria Fernanda Cabello, a DACA recipient and Cosecha spokesperson.
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We marched, we walked-out, we stopped deportations and shut down detention centers. We took risks and put our bodies on the line to tell the people of this country that we were 'Undocumented, Unafraid, and Unapologetic.' For the last 20 years, Republicans and Democrats have failed to deliver on promise after promise to the immigrant community. We will not put our trust in them. We are putting our faith in our people. Taking brave action has been the only thing that has never failed us.
More than a dozen arrests have been reported following street sit-ins. According to James Barragán of Dallas News, permanent residents who were arrested are showing solidarity with undocumented immigrants by vowing to "remain in jail until DACA recipients are released."
Catalina Santiago, a DACA recipient who was arrested on Wednesday, said in a statement that she participated in the event to "tell my parents, my community, and the rest of the 11 million that no matter what politicians say, you are worthy and we will not settle for the crumbs they offer us in exchange for being the economic and labor force that sustains this country day in and day out."
Watch a video of the day of action: