They can’t vote, but they came to Cleveland from all over the country to stop Donald Trump.
Dozens of young activists, all undocumented immigrants, descended on the host city of the Republican National Convention on Monday for an anti-Trump rally.
“We cannot stand his fearmongering, his racism, his misogyny, his xenophobia, Islamophobia, all of the things that America does not stand for,” said David Chung, 25, who came to the United States from South Korea when he was 3.
The rally was followed by a march that went past the Quicken Loans Arena, where later this week Trump will accept the Republican nomination for president. The rally and protest was organized by community groups calling themselves the “Stop Trump Coalition.”
Chung traveled to the U.S. with his grandmother using a visa that expired six months later. He has been undocumented and living in New York City since.
Chung attended the rally with about 60 other undocumented immigrants, mostly young people who have benefited from Deferred Action, the program that temporarily protects some young immigrants from deportation.
A recent Supreme Court split decision blocked President Obama’s executive order from expanding to include parents of young immigrants who were eligible for Deferred Action.
Trump has said he would get rid of DACA altogether and could deport those who have benefited from it as part of his mass deportation plan.
The undocumented activists traveled to Cleveland from several states, including Texas and New Jersey, and Washington D.C. Most drove from Wisconsin.
Chung pointed out that Asians and Pacific Islanders are both the fastest-growing immigrant population and the fastest-growing voting bloc in the United States. Asian immigrants are expected to surpass Latinos and become the nation’s largest immigrant group by 2065, according to Pew Research Center estimates.
The number of U.S. border apprehensions of Mexicans has fallen to historic lows, but in border states like California, the number of Asian immigrants who have been apprehended has grown dramatically.
Border Patrol agents near San Diego estimate they detained 663 Chinese nationals between October and May this year, compared with 48 who were arrested the previous fiscal year, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Media always portrayed the border as a problem that affected Latinx people, especially folks from Central America and Mexico, but we also are starting to realize now that Asian-Pacific Islanders and other folks are having trouble getting visas, coming to the U.S. through the entry points and coming through the border. All of these struggles affect us all,” Chung told Fusion.
“We need to make sure these struggles are interconnected [and] that it’s not just an Asian Pacific Islander struggle or an immigrant struggle, or a Mexican struggle, but that there’s intersectionality amongst our movements.”
Chung said attending the rally gave him hope that activists working on different social justice issues will come together.
“We saw a whole bunch of chants that were representative of the different folks,” Chung said. “It shows that our movements are growing and that we’re creating a social justice movement that is not just specific to one issue but that is specific to all these different issues.”