As President Trump returned from a trip in Texas calling for more support for his stringent immigration policies, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) greeted him by leading a pro-immigration rally outside the White House.
Congressional freshmen Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) stood alongside nearly 100 protesters demanding permanent residence for people in the US with temporary protected status (TPS).
“We are a nation that turns peril into promise,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We are here to make sure that all TPS recipients become permanent members of the United States of America. … We are fighting for the longstanding principle … that the people who build this country stay in this country.”
TPS affords nationals from some countries affected by armed conflict or natural disaster the legal right to temporarily live and work in the United States.
Huge numbers of people, including TPS recipients are beginning to march from the White House to the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/UTWmPgs2s9
— Rachel Frazin (@RachelFrazin) February 12, 2019
Pressley referred to the program as a “falsehood.”
“This is not charity, this is what you have earned,” the politician, who became the first Black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts in November, told demonstrators. “We will not stop until you get it. Residency now.”
Last year, the Trump administration virtually ended TPS, canceling protections for all but 7,000 of the more than 300,000 living with the protected status.
On Sunday, a group of people from Honduras and Nepal filed a lawsuit arguing that Trump’s massive termination of protections are rooted in racism.
Last year, when Trump ended the program for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan, a similar suit was made, temporarily blocking his administration’s efforts.