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Dozens defend DACA in Vogel Plaza

A crowd of demonstrators braved thick wildfire smoke in downtown Medford to protest President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy founded under the Obama administration.

More than 65 people RSVP'd on Facebook for the "Defend DACA" rally, according to Unete Center for Farm Worker Advocacy in Medford, which hosted the event also attended by members of Oregon District 2 Indivisible.

The 2012 immigration program, which gave young undocumented immigrants protection from deportation and a work permit, had been an option for those brought to the United States when they were children. The program's discontinuation has the potential to impact 11,000 youth in Oregon and 800,000 nationwide, according to an Oregon District 2 Indivisible release.

Trump had vowed to end the program during his presidential campaign. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday declared DACA "an unconstitutional exercise of authority" that must be revoked. Trump added a six-month delay to give Congress time to address the status of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants covered by the program.

When asked about the DACA decision during a public appearance Tuesday, Trump said, "I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly."

Dozens protest Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Vogel Plaza Tuesday evening. [Mail Tribune / Nick Morgan]