In a stunt broken up quickly enough by law enforcement that it failed to make much of a statement, four immigration activists staged a sit-down protest of President Trump in the middle of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route.
The New York Daily News reports that the four protesters are “young people who came into the country undocumented but were allowed to stay.” Wearing red T-shirts, the four “Dreamers” sat down in the middle of the road on Central Park West at 70th Street before police stepped in. According to a police spokesman, the formerly undocumented immigrants were not arrested.
Like many other pro-illegal immigration activists, the group was protesting Trump’s executive action against the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has given temporary legal status for people who entered the country illegally as children, or the so-called “Dreamers.”
The protesters are calling for the protections for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers to be “permanent” as well as protections for “all 11 million” illegal immigrants.
“We want permanent protection for undocumented youth and more focus on the fact that all undocumented youth are suffering, whether they’re DACA or not,” said New Jersey college student Piash Ahamed, 26, the Daily News reports.
“I was scared of being arrested, I was scared of losing my job,” said California teacher Barbara Hernandez, 25. “But once there, I felt empowered, having them with me, and knowing it wasn’t just for me — it was for everyone, not just the Dreamers, but all 11 million.”
Though the brief protest went largely unnoticed, another participant, yoga instructor Hector Martinez, 26, declared the demonstration “successful in that we were able to remind the immigrant community that they don’t have to live in fear.”