Over 200 protesters gathered Tuesday afternoon in Lafayette Square across from the White House to demand a pathway to citizenship, also known as amnesty, for the millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States.
Throughout the afternoon rally-goers could be heard across the park shouting chants in both Spanish and English such as "No papers, no fear!" and "What do we want? Citizenship. When do we want it? Now!"
Tuesday also marked the ninth anniversary of DACA, which allows certain undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as young children, often called "dreamers," a temporary reprieve from deportation.
"DACA is the floor, we want a pathway to citizenship," shouted a young man holding a clipboard who appeared to be emceeing the event, which was hosted by immigrant advocacy group United We Dream.
The same man announced, with police within earshot, that he was living in the United States illegally.
"My whole life I lived in the shadows, not only as an undocumented man, but also as a queer man," he said.
A woman who identified herself as Joella Roberts told the crowd she was living in the United States "undocumented and unafraid."
"My name is Joella Roberts. I use she/her pronouns. I was born in Trinidad and Tobago. I am undocumented and unafraid!" shouted Roberts.
"President Biden promised to take action within the first 100 days of being elected," said the man emceeing the event. "What a change of tone, right? When it was just [this] past week when we heard Vice President Kamala Harris say, ‘Do not come. Do not come.’"
Roberts was even more direct, saying Harris "lied" to the immigrant community. "Kamala Harris lied and said she would help us," shouted Roberts from a megaphone.
The protesters also took aim at the top immigration law enforcement agencies with chants of "Shame! Shame! Shame!" after Roberts slammed Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
"ICE and CBP are the largest funded police agencies in this country," Roberts said to the crowd, which then responded with ""Shame! Shame! Shame!"
Despite being in the country illegally and not being eligible to vote, Roberts shouted toward the White House in a symbolic gesture to Biden that it was undocumented immigrants who put him in office and that he is "accountable" to them.
"Now we’re going to turn to the White House because we are here to talk to someone that we put in office, that we put in office!" yelled Roberts. "Despite having no political power, we use our social power to get him in office, so he’s accountable to us!"