AUSTIN, Texas - State troopers arrested six demonstrators during a Defend DACA rally outside of Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office.
Demonstrators were hoping to send a message to Paxton urging him to withdraw his request for the president to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Austin's Defend DACA rally was one of several taking place at cities across the nation.
Five years ago, the Obama administration began accepting applications for DACA. Since then 800,000 people have been accepted into the program and granted protection from deportation.
Ken Paxton is one of 10 attorneys general who have asked President Donald Trump to end the program. So far the president has not released a response.
DACA recipients said ending the program would break up families and risk the lives of thousands of undocumented immigrants who spent the majority of their lives in the U.S.
“I have never lived a life where I've struggled with work because ever since I was a legal age to work I've been able to work, ever since I was a legal age to drive I've been able to drive, so I don't know a life without that and so my future is filled with uncertainty,” said Yunuen Alvarado who was accepted into the DACA program when she was 15.
Those arrested Tuesday went into the rally expecting to be taken into custody. They hooked arms and blocked the exit doors to the building, refusing to leave even when troopers asked them to do so.
“We believe that all actions toward the right goal are important to achieving that goal, so people through history have stood up, people through history have broken laws and stood up against wrong and tyranny and fascism. We must continue to fight, stand up, so every action we can take, we must take them. We must not sit by passively. We cannot just allow this administration, this legislature or this attorney general to take away from hundreds of thousands of families a protection and an access to this country that they all deserve,” said Ken Zarafis, one of the six protesters taken into custody.
Those arrested were charged with criminal trespass, a Class B misdemeanor.