DACA arguments draw large protests at Supreme Court

DACA arguments draw large protests at Supreme Court
© Greg Nash

The arguments at the Supreme Court over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program drew crowds of protesters from around the country on Tuesday. 

Throngs of demonstrators gathered at the steps of the Supreme Court in support of the DACA program, which President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE moved to end in 2017. Multiple groups quickly challenged his authority to terminate it, and the case has finally reached the nation's highest court.

DACA has provided protections for hundreds of thousands of so-called Dreamers against deportation.  

Protesters filled the Washington streets in front of the court as the initial oral arguments ended, chanting "Up, up with liberation. Down, down with deportation."

And protesters also targeted Trump for repealing the program with chants of "Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”

Videos of the protests showed activists playing drums and other instruments as they marched toward the high court, while other protesters demanded “justice for our people.” 

Some of those who watched the oral arguments inside the court walked out locking arms to show unification in support of the program.

The presidential campaign for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWomen's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan MORE (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic contender, helped organize the Home is Here Rally in support of DACA, asking supporters in an email to RSVP a week before the demonstrations.

"We must stand in solidarity and show the Trump administration that their cruel and harmful policies will not stand," an email from the group read.

The crowd began gathering at the steps of the Supreme Court as early as 9 a.m., an hour before the start of oral arguments.

Capitol Police eventually had to block off First Street and part of Maryland Ave. NE., around 10:30 a.m. as the protests swelled. When Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance McCarthy pulls GOP picks off House economic panel GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (D-Calif.) arrived at the court around that time, she was greeted with cheers from the crowd.

Among those at the event was a group from the Home is Here coalition. The group left New York City on Oct. 26, and marched to Washington, D.C., arriving on Sunday.

Activists also organized a national walkout for high school and college students across the country.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for three cases over the administration's cancellation of DACA. Trump has argued that former President Obama abused his executive power in creating the program, and that ending DACA would curtail illegal immigration in the country. His decision to cancel the program was challenged in court.

He tweeted Tuesday saying the DACA recipients are “no longer very young, are far from ‘angels,’” describing some as “very tough, hardened criminals.”

Updated at 1:27 p.m.