More than 100 protesters march in Dream Act rally in Downtown Detroit

Group wants federal lawmakers to agree on DACA fix

DETROIT – More than 100 protestors braved the frigid temperatures Wednesday morning for a Dream Act rally down Woodward Avenue.

Protestors are urging federal lawmakers to agree on a DACA fix that protects young, undocumented immigrants in their legislation to keep the government running.

The group first met in the sanctuary of the Central United Methodist Church before hitting the streets to defend the Dream Act.

The sanctuary was filled with people ready to share their personal stories. Among them was Sergio Martinez.

"We're losing status," Martinez said. "We're losing people. Our communities are being devastated."

Martinez is a dreamer under the DACA program that once protected people brought to the United States as children undocumented from deportation.

"We are constantly being put on the back burner for the next election," Martinez said.

Michigan United and dozens of others planned a rally and march to Sen. Debbie Stabenow's office ahead of the scheduled budget proposal vote on Friday.

"We're here mainly today to ask our senators, we're targeting Debbie Stabenow today, and ask her to really step up in a big way, and only vote for the budget bill if it includes a clean Dream Act," Xochitl Cossyleon said.

The group walked a few blocks, equipped with a variety of signs and a loudspeaker.

"When immigrant rights are under attack, what do we do?" Cossyleon asked. "We stand up, fight back."

They walked into the Chrysler House building in Downtown Detroit, where Stabenow has an office, and began chanting.

A few members of the group went upstairs to sit outside of Stabenow's office.

"We have some excellent speakers lined up," Cossyleon said.

Police officers soon arrived and the crowd decided to leave peacefully, hoping they got their message across before Friday's vote.

Demonstrators calling on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act were detained Wednesday during a protest on Capitol Hill. The peaceful protest was organized by a national Jewish organization called Bend The Arc.

Demonstrators sat inside the rotunda at the Russell Senate Office building and chanted, "Let my people stay." Some wore armbands that read, "Jews for dreamers."

Capitol Hill police detained the demonstrators one by one and led them away without any incidents.

Lawmakers have to make a decision on the DACA program by March 5, when it's scheduled to expire.

About the Authors: