Undocumented immigrant and activist Elias Rosenfeld is a Brandeis University student. His parents brought him to the U.S. from Venezuela when he was six years old. He is a DACA recipient, and he says many recipients, like him, could face being deported to countries they don’t even know.

Credit: Mark Herz/WGBH News

Local Activists Hold Impassioned Rally at Faneuil Hall after DACA Announcement

September 6, 2017

A hastily organized rally following the announcement of President Trump’s move to end DACA drew a few hundred local activists to Faneuil Hall. Among those at the rally were Massachusetts residents who had received DACA deferments.

Elias Rosenfeld is an undocumented immigrant and advocate brought to the U.S. as a six-year-old from Venezuela who is attending Brandeis University. He says ending DACA will create extra fear of federal immigration officials for people like him.

"Because we're the only immigrant group now where they have our information,” Rosenfeld said. “They have our addresses, they know where we go to school, they know where we are employed."

Filipe Zanborlini is an activist who has a green card now but was granted a DACA deferral previously. He spoke emotionally to the crowd.

"Because when our communities are under attack what do we do?” said Zanborlini. The crowd chanted back: "stand up, fight back."’ Then Zamborlini — his voice strained, yelling, the address system distorting — asked them again, "Because when our communities are under attack, what do we do?”

The answering chant came back loud and strong.

Several speakers at the rally called on Governor Charlie Baker to support making Massachusetts a so-called sanctuary state by supporting a bill filed in the state legislature that would limit state and local law enforcement's cooperation with federal immigration officials.

Marjorie Decker is a state representative from Cambridge who spoke to the crowd. She said she was in tears at the news while driving to the rally.

"I am devastated. I am sad. I am depressed. But I need to be here with you, because now what I feel is determined — determined anger,” Decker said.

Many speakers at the rally urged passage of a bill filed in the state legislature that would allow state universities to continue in-state tuition for undocumented students who have it because they're covered under DACA.

On Tuesday, the presidents of the nine state universities called on House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg to advance that legislation.

Governor Charlie Baker issued a statement on Tuesday saying he hopes Congress will preserve the protections of DACA for Massachusetts residents who are now in the military, working in the state, or attending state schools.


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