Thousands of people turned out for a hastily called protest Tuesday evening outside the federal building at Seventh and Mission to express their anger over President Trump's announced rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a.k.a. DACA, a.k.a. the "Dreamers" initiative that was begun under President Obama. Trump has called this a necessary move to curb illegal immigration, but many critics on the left see it is another cynical political ploy to appeal to his base at the expense of children and young adults many of whom have spent the majority of their lives in this country.
Under Trump's order, the Department of Homeland Security will stop accepting or processing applications for the DACA program as of this week, but those whose status in the program is expiring before the March 5, 2018 deadline can renew for two years. Trump has tasked Congress with coming up with a compromise or replacement for the program. Approximately 200,000 Dreamers are said to be affected in California.
Tuesday's protest filled the plaza in front of the federal building and spilled out into Mission and Seventh Streets around 5:30 p.m. As CBS 5 reports, the gathering became a short march to City Hall, disrupting traffic as well as Muni service on Market Street.
As ABC 7 reported, Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials held a press conference Tuesday featuring some DACA recipients, one of whom spoke and said that while she was disappointed and "devastated" by the news, "I'm not ready to give up, I'm not going anywhere."
More photos and video from the protest below. A similar rally took place in Berkeley Tuesday evening as well.