New Mexico

"I'm afraid of getting deported:" Hundreds of NM students walk out of class in response to DACA news

Hundreds of New Mexicans protest DACA...

Southern New Mexico - Hundreds of New Mexico high school and college students walked out of their classes Tuesday in protest of the Trump administration's decision to end the Obama Administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Around 20 protests were planned at schools and universities across New Mexico from Santa Fe to Anthony.

Around 200 people attended NMSU's protest on the northeast corner of campus.

"I'm afraid of getting deported" said 20-year-old Lizzeth Sandoval. "I have DACA. I'm here to stand up for everybody that is scared to do it and let everybody hear their voice."

Sandoval moved to the United States when she was only five years old. She said she was frustrated to hear the news, but not shocked.

"I felt afraid, I felt angry, disappointed," Sandoval said. "But I know if we stand up, we'll be able to keep DACA."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday called the program known as DACA as an "unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch."

DACA, created in 2012, has given nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work in the country.

Sessions says the Trump administration is urging Congress to find an alternate way to protect young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
The advocacy group, the New Mexico Dream Team, called the decision a "cowardly and erroneous move."

“I’ve never been to Mexico," said Brandon, a dreamer who asked us not to include his last name. “When I heard (the news), honestly, my heart felt a little bit broken, and I felt lost, uncertain.”

Nearly one thousand people across New Mexico had expressed their interest in attending numerous walkouts across the state by 10 a.m. on Tuesday. More than 500 people said they are attending.

"We’re so heartbroken," said Irvin, who also did not wish to share his last name. "I was not expecting for it to happen.”

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