Advocates Protested for Hours During President Obama’s Visit

Mar 6, 2014

President Obama pushed for a higher federal minimum wage in front of a friendly audience indoors at Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday. While that was happening, a smaller and different audience of around 100 people stood outside in the cold chanting and holding up signs.

‪One group of protestors chanted, among other things, “Obama, Obama, don't deport my mama.”

A group of demonstrators pushed for immigration reform, one of President Obama's campaign promises.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

‪The protestors, who are all from Connecticut, said they want the president to deliver the immigration reform that he had promised while campaigning.

‪In 2012, the administration launched the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. It lets undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children avoid deportation, and get a two-year work permit.

Sabrina Garcia, 18, said it's something, but they need more. "I came here when I was six years old from Uruguay," she said. "I was able to get DACA, but my parents, obviously, were not, and there [are] many families in similar situations."

Garcia explained that they still face many limitations: for one thing, she’s applying to colleges, but her immigration status means she’s not eligible for a lot of scholarships.

Garcia's group wasn't the only one hoping to get President Obama's attention. Next to them were protestors with blue and yellow Ukrainian flags. People such as Ukrainian-American Danuta Votus were calling for sanctions against Russia, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Not far away, a group of Ukrainian-Americans called for sanctions against Russia in light of the situation in Crimea.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

‪”We don't want to go back to Russia,” Votus said. “We [are] fighting for democracy and [a] free country; we want to go to [the European] Union.”

‪Some of that group planned to join a protest at the Russian Embassy in New York on Thursday, and another in Washington, D.C. this weekend.