Detroit — A crowd of students, families and activists stood Wednesday beneath overcast skies, their voices rising: “No ban, no wall, full citizenship and rights for all!”
It was a rallying cry for a coalition of grassroots groups that gathered at Wayne State University to protest policies of the Trump administration they believe discriminate against Muslims, immigrants and others.
“We can’t stand for this,” said Nour Soubani, an advocacy specialist with Take on Hate. “We are going to continue to protest.”
The demonstration, which drew about 50 people, came a day before eligible recipients in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program had to submit renewal applications. Trump has announced he plans to end the initiative his predecessor Barack Obama created to protect immigrants brought to the United States as children and now here illegally.
Top U.S. House and Senate Democrats last month said they reached an agreement with the president to protect certain immigrants.
The protest also coincides with uncertainty over Trump’s latest travel ban. Citizens of eight countries, including North Korea and Venezuela, face restrictions entering under a proclamation the president signed that replaces his expiring travel ban. The new rules were scheduled to start Oct. 18.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court had been set to hear arguments this month on the legality of the Trump efforts but canceled those, citing the new travel restrictions. It asked both sides to file briefs by Thursday, showing whether the case is now moot.
Many of those who spoke Wednesday outside the David Adamany Undergraduate Library at Wayne State said the measure’s aim has not changed.
“This is a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.,” said Amy Doukoure, a staff attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter. “This is an attempt to make good on a campaign promise.”
The measures moved Ruaida Rafique, a Wayne State University student from Hamtramck, to join the diverse demonstrators with a sign reading “Stop Separating Families.” She hoped their protest would push others to take action.
“I feel very strongly about this,” she said. “I hope it brings about change.”