“I came from a place where I had very limited access to food, education, security or opportunity for economic advancement. When I came to America I had the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and comfortable environment,” said John Ochira, to a crowd of about 400 people who’d gathered on the steps of Portland’s city hall to protest Twisted Trump’s ending of the DACA program initiated by President Obama during his administration.
“The president’s decision to end DACA is driven by fear and hate for immigrants. If we should fear anything at all, we should fear the idea that your neighbor is the reason for your economic hardship…fear is simply un-American,” he continued. Ochira is a Board Member of Maine Immigrants Rights Coalition, (MIRC).
Speaker after speaker addressed the short-sighted decision of Twisted Trump to rescind DACA in between rain showers – that brought out several rainbows above the admiring crowd. The chant: “The people united will never be divided” sprung up spontaneously in between each speaker as well.
Zoe Sahloul, President of MIRC’s Board, said that because of DACA 800,000 immigrants were protected by President Obama. “Ending DACA is incredibly cruel. For so many of these young people, the U.S. is the only home they know. DACA opened up educational and work opportunities for them and in turn they were paying taxes and giving back to their communities…..” Sahloul, from Lebanon, concluded: “America is already great because of all of the immigrants we have here.”
A final line that caused a roar of approval from the diverse crowd on the steps of city hall.
The event was organized by Mainers for Accountable Leadership. Co-leader of the non-profit. Marie F. Smith, was the facilitator of the Rally.