ANTHONY, NM – Dozens of students from Gadsden High School joined a statewide walkout and rallied for “immigrant justice” following the Trump administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals known as, DACA.
About sixty students marched across New Mexico Highway 28 down a rural road flanked by cotton fields and pecan trees. The students at the front held a large hand-painted “Defend Dreamers” banner.
Many are concerned that some fellow students could face deportation if they lose protection under DACA. Nicholas Dorado, 15, a native New Mexican, held a sign with the New Mexico flag and the word “resist”painted in big letters.
“I’m worried about my friend,” said Dorado.
The New Mexico Dream Team, a non-profit organization that advocates for Dreamers, and other DACA recipients, organized the statewide student walkout and rally.
“We want the Trump administration to know that we the people have the power. We’re going to continue to fight,” said Rubi Aguilar, 19 a recent graduate from Gadsden High School.
Doña Ana Community College students in Anthony also joined the walkout. Juan Beltran, 20, is studying to become a nurse. He’s also a DACA recipient. He’s among the 800,000 young people now living in limbo after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration will rescind DACA. Beltran hopes Congress will now step in and take action.
“Please, please, please support us. I don’t know why they don’t want us here. I was raised here since I was little,” said Beltran.
He said his parents brought him to the U.S. from Camargo, Mexico when he was seven years old.
The students ended their march under a billboard promoting the New Mexico True tourism campaign welcoming visitors near the state line with Texas. One student held a hand painted sign with the words, “Welcome to DACAland.”
Texas is among the eight states that threatened to sue the Trump administration if it did not end DACA by Tuesday.
In Las Cruces, about 200 students participated in the walkout at New Mexico State University and held a rally in a parking lot near campus.