Police arrested 15 protesters outside the office of the Texas Attorney General on Thursday. Organizers managed to draw only 50 people to demonstrate against the State’s new sanctuary city ban and General Ken Paxton’s threat to sue the federal government to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers arrested 15 people engaged in a sit-in outside the attorney general’s office after they blocked a roadway and refused orders to leave, according to a Fox 7 report in Austin. The Mexican Consulate in Austin confirmed to the local Fox News affiliate that four of the arrested are DACA recipients.
The protest stemmed from a letter sent by Attorney General Paxton and nine other states calling for an end to the DACA program initiated by an executive action by the Obama Administration. The program, not enacted by Congress, provides temporary legal status and work authorization for those aliens brought to the U.S. as children.
“Just like DAPA, DACA unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress,” Paxton wrote in the letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Paxton signed the letter along with the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho, West Virginia, and the governor of Idaho.
“For these same reasons that DAPA and Expanded DACA’s unilateral Executive Branch conferral of eligibility for lawful presence and work authorization was unlawful, the original June 15, 2012, DACA memorandum is also unlawful,” the letter continues. “The original 2012 DACA program covers over one million otherwise unlawfully present aliens.”
One protester told Fox 7 she traveled to Texas from Arizona to make a statement.
“I’m coming all the way from Arizona, because as a DACA recipient and as a daughter of undocumented parents, this is really close to home. We know that there’s a lot of fear and anxiety in our communities, however, we know that we cannot rely on faith and put our faith and our hopes in politicians,” Reyna Montoya told the Fox reporter.
According to the local Fox affiliate, those arrested on charges of obstructing a highway or passageway include:
- Ariel Mendoza, 23, San Antonio
- Catalina Adorno, 27, Union City, New Jersey
- Catalina Santiago, 20, Homestead, Florida
- Dylan S. Lazerow, 29, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
- Emily Demorest, 30, Kalamazoo, Michigan
- Elizabeth Galvan, 24, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Jose M. Ramirez, 25, Austin
- Jose L. Santiago, 21, Florida City, Florida
- Juan O. Ortiz, 42, Austin
- Justin J. Smith, 30, Washington DC
- Miriam Z. Coria, 23, Perth Amboy, New Jersey
- Nancy Sauceda, 24, San Antonio
- Noah K. Newkirk, 36, Los Angeles, California
- Ryan D. Acuff, 34, Rochester, New York
- Samuel A. Woody, 25, San Antonio
“We have seen that only victories have won when communities have put everything at risk, so, right now, we’re sad that four DACA recipients and allies were able to risk arrest, risking deportations, risking not being able to see their families ever again,” Montoya concluded.
Breitbart Texas reached out to immigration officials to determine if any actions will be taken by the agency. Officials were not available for an immediate response.
“We have seen that only victories have won when communities have put everything at risk, so, right now, we’re sad that four DACA recipients and allies were able to risk arrest, risking deportations, risking not being able to see their families ever again,” Montoya said.