On most Fridays, high school students squirm in their seats waiting for the bell to ring so they don’t have to look at another book until Sunday night. But on this morning, youth across the nation walked out of school to show their support in anticipation of something different.
“Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Donald Trump has got to go!” followed by “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here!” were some of the many chants that rang throughout the usually quiet neighborhood of Dupont Circle by students walking in protest toward the Supreme Court. Not even the frigid fall air could stop them from trekking to the Court’s steps to get ahead of the upcoming hearing on Capitol Hill this Tuesday.
At stake is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The Court will either be ruling in favor for or against President Donald Trump’s decision to repeal DACA’s protections for undocumented immigrants. This is the same lifeline that has protected thousands of immigrants who have lived in the United States since they were children. Many having found work, and created a life for themselves, the ruling could either leave them more or less vulnerable to deportation.
Wrapped up in warm scarves and beanie hats, the marchers gloved-hands gripped bright, colorful posters that read things such as: “#Home Is Here #HereToStay” and “The American Dream Belongs To Everybody.” Students’ goal in marching was to send the message to Supreme Court Justices that immigrants’ home, is here.
The Wash caught up with some students from Woodrow Wilson high school outside of the Supreme Court.
Addy Darnell, a freshman missed three tests to be a part of the walkout. “I left during English class. I’m missing Biology, Street Law, and Spanish,” she said.
Darnell said that, as a person of color, she thinks it’s really important for minorities to stand together.
“If we let the majority break us up, then we have no power. That’s why I’m here,” she said.
Her classmate, Lauren Cullins, was also in attendance.
“I’m incredibly privileged to be someone who’s white, and comes from an educated family,” she said.
While Cullins said the immigration issue at stake doesn’t directly affect her family, she still wanted to be apart of the walk to show her support for her DACA classmates and their families.
“We sort of have to help everyone, because it’s just the right thing to do,” she said.
Both teens agreed that one doesn’t need to have a personal experience with a topic to be able to empathize with people or fight for what is right.
Despite having been outside for hours, dealing with light snow fall, and mistakenly wearing ripped jeans in freezing temperatures, the pair said that, while still worried about Tuesday’s verdict, they now feel like they have done all they could to help.
“I’m sort of hoping that love and support wins over hate and bigotry,” said Cullins.
Eligia Rubio, an undocumented immigrant, admits that she is scared. If she could send a message to the Justices, she would like them to know that the immigrant community contributes to the country, and they are here to stay.
She told The Wash that the walk meant a lot to her as she saw the D.C. community come together, despite being from different places, to all fight together, for each other.