Tucson DACA rally draws in the subdued supporters - Tucson News Now

Tucson DACA rally draws in the subdued supporters

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The group slowly assembled to a large mass. They were an angered, but supportive crowd, at De Anza Park.

Several hundred people gathered north of downtown Tucson on Tuesday, Sept. 6, in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

The event, largely organized on Facebook, was in response to Tuesday's announcement that President Donald Trump would roll back DACA, which was enacted by President Barack Obama in June 2012. The program provides temporary, renewable legal status for undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children, often brought in illegally by their parents.

So about a mile from De Anza park at Tucson City Hall, on Wednesday, Sept. 6, Mary E. Albert sat alone. Not a single other person stood near her, and no one else at El Presidio Park showed any semblance that they were there for a rally.

She waited patiently, in silence, for her chance at activism.

"It's over 100 degrees and it's hot and I don't walk so well anymore. So I'm going to meet them here," Albert said.

Albert told Tucson News Now she did not personally know a single DACA recipient.

Yet, she felt feeling strongly enough to wait more than two hours for the crowd of people to march their way to city hall, so she could stand and scream along with others.

Among the large group, estimated by Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus at about 500 people, was Jesus Torres.

"We are here. And we're going to stay here," said Torres, who said he's a DACA recipient and graduate of Pima Community College. "I don't fear. Because I know there are a lot of people supporting us."

Support from people he doesn't even know - like Mary.

"They're buying homes. They're buying cars. They don't have criminal records. They're better citizens than most of us. They deserve to be here. They belong here. We want people like this here. I want them here," she said.

But not all want DACA recipients to have temporary legal standing.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions argued that DACA "denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens."

But an Associated Press Fact Check says economists disagree.

"The unemployment rate is near a 16-year low, and U.S. companies are seeking to fill 6.2 million jobs, the most on records dating from 2001. Many companies are practically begging for more workers," the report said.

Mary was ready to fight the decision, whether the crowd showed up or not.

"It doesn't matter if it's just me. In fact, I was kind of thinking of standing in front of the councilmen's quarters for a little while with my sign," she told Tucson News Now, prior to the rally at city hall.

But even she knew there is strength in numbers.

"I know they're coming, so I'm looking forward to seeing them when they get here."

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