As immigrant advocacy groups rallied outside Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart’s offices in Doral Monday, protesters say a U.S. Customs and Border Protection truck circled around the group.
“@ICEgov just sent a truck to intimidate the dreamers fasting outside of the offices of Senator @marcorubio and Congressman @MarioDB. #CleanDreamAct #DreamActNow,” posted Florida Immigrant Coalition’s Tomas Kennedy.
The protest was organized to demand the protection for Dreamers, those who were brought by their families to the United States as children even though they were undocumented immigrants.
Many of those participating— some elderly — launched a week-long hunger strike Friday, urging local politicians to fight the Trump administration’s repeal of the country’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
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TPS is a program that protects foreign nationals — Hondurans, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Haitians — from being deported to their homelands amid instability and perilous conditions caused by armed conflict or natural disasters. The Obama-era DACA programs has allowed those who entered the U.S. illegally as minors to be protected from immediate deportation.
The Trump administration has been vocal about doing away with both programs. In September, the Justice Department announced it was ending DACA.
Other groups present at the protest included Students Working for Equal Rights and the Fanm Ayisyen nan Miyami — a Haitian-American-rights group, reported the Miami New Times.
“Dreamers and allies are going on a week-long hunger fast to call on Senator @marcorubio and Congressman @MarioDB to support a #CleanDreamAct and commit to not vote for any spending bill until legislation is brought to a vote,” Kennedy posted on Twitter.
Last week, two Republiclan U.S. Congressional representatives from Miami — Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen — said they would not back the long-term spending bill that deadlines on Friday unless there’s a deal to help Dreamers find a solution to their immigration status. The spending bill funds the federal government.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Miami Herald.