A Los Angeles-based advocacy group said hundreds of local students walked out of school to voice their support for immigrants on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court heard arguments on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The Obama-era initiative has allowed about 700,000 people brought to the U.S. as children stay and work in the country legally, according to data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
At Tuesday’s hearing, the high court’s conservative majority indicated that they may be prepared to support the Trump administration’s effort to end it. The justices are expected to make a decision on DACA by the end of the Supreme Court’s term in June.
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, which organized the day’s demonstrations in L.A., said those who left classes Tuesday included students from John Marshall High School in Los Feliz, James A. Garfield High School in East L.A., Academia Avance Charter School in Highland Park and Warren High School in Downey.
“Our community will definitely be directly affected,” said Zulema Martinez, a student who helped set up the walkout at Garfield High School.
She and dozens of her classmates also planned to join a rally at Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in downtown L.A., then a march to MacArthur Park, where the “Rise for DACA” concert was set to start at 3 p.m.
By 1 p.m., hundreds of students and other supporters had converged on the streets of downtown L.A.
One of the students, Genoveva Alarcon, said the issue hits home.
“[My sister] relies heavily on this… If this is taken away, a lot of people will be left without jobs,” Alarcon said. “This means they might not be able to provide for their family.”