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SLO demonstrators plan to "defend DACA"

Greta Mart/KCBX
Starting at 3 p.m., demonstrators gathered in front of Rep. Carbajal's San Luis Obispo office.

The White House announced Tuesday the suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - known as DACA - program. According to U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal's office, approximately 9,000 people formerly eligible for the program live on the Central Coast.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintains DACA, created by President Obama in 2012, "was not statutorily authorized and was therefore an unconstitutional exercise of discretion by the executive branch,” as Sessions wrote in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security. According to a statement released Tuesday, the Trump Administration intends to end the program after a six-month delay.

In response to the announcement, the Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success organized arally as a “call for action" in San Luis Obispo. People gathered with hand-printed signs in front of Carbajal's San Luis Obispo field office. Carbajal is a supporter of the DACA program, which he says contributes to the country's social-economic well-being. 

"Ending this program undermines our economic growth and competitiveness, costing our economy $490 billion in lost GDP over the next decade in addition to losing potential innovation and entrepreneurship. Terminating DACA and stripping DREAMers of that hope and opportunity is unconscionable and incompatible with our American values," Carbajal said in a statement. "Congress must take immediate action to protect DREAMers before the program is set to expire."

Carbajal said he is a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act to "permanently codify" DACA.