SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A vocal group of undocumented youths and their supporters drowned out House Minority Nancy Pelosi Monday at a news conference where she was calling for the immediate passage of the DREAM Act.
The event began calmly with a smiling Pelosi at the podium surrounded by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Jared Huffman, community leaders and other Dreamers.
Pelosi began her speech, calling dreamers courageous.
“Our nation’s dreamers are an inspiration to all of us,” she said. “With their courage and their patriotism. They embody the promise of America… of the American Dream… Make America dream again,” Pelosi said to applause from the partisan crowd.
But then a group stormed in chanting, carrying a large banner and individual signs. “We undocumented youth demand a clean bill … We undocumented youth demand that you do not sell out our community and our values …We undocumented youth will not be a bargaining chip for Trump.”
Many of the demonstrators carried signs reading “Democrats are Deporters.”
Pelosi unsuccessfully attempted to calm down the chanting students.
“You’ve had your say, and it’s beautiful music to our ears,” Pelosi said. But when they interrupted again, she shouted “Just stop it now!”
Moments later, she was forced to leave the news conference.
Meanwhile in San Francisco federal court, six immigrants brought to the United States as children who became teachers, graduate students and a lawyer sued the Trump administration on over its decision to end a program shielding them from deportation.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco alleges the move violated the constitutional rights of immigrants who lack legal status and provided information about themselves to the U.S. government so they could participate in the program.
“The consequences are potentially catastrophic,” said Jesse Gabriel, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “These people can very powerfully and very clearly communicate the extent to which they organized their lives around this program.”
The lawsuit joins others filed over President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 immigrants to obtain work permits and deportation protection since 2012.
More than a dozen states from Maine to California have sued over the administration’s decision to phase out the program, alleging similar constitutional violations. So has the University of California system.
Gabriel said the impact of Trump’s decision directly weighed on his clients’ personal lives and decisions they made to advance their careers in this U.S.
He said Dulce Garcia is a 34-year-old lawyer in San Diego who came to the United States from Mexico when she was four years old. She recently signed a lease for an office and hired employees because she believed she could stay and work in the U.S. under the program, Gabriel said.
“Now, the government is totally pulling out the rug from under her,” he said.
The plaintiffs also include teachers, a medical student and a law student. They are from Mexico and Thailand.
Department of Justice spokesman Devin O’Malley blamed the Obama administration for starting the program and said the agency will defend Trump’s decision.
“It was the previous administration’s arbitrary circumvention of Congress that got us to this point,” he said. “The Department of Justice looks forward to defending this Administration’s position and restoring respect for the rule of law.”
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