The last two weeks have been busy for Jean Stokan.
As of Sept. 1, Stokan, the immigration coordinator for the Sisters of Mercy's Institute Justice Team, was on day 18 of a 22-day vigil outside the White House, pleading for the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, known as DACA.
DACA protects from deportation up to 800,000 people under the age of 35 who were brought to the United States as children. Begun five years ago under President Barack Obama, the administrative program allows those with DACA status to legally work in the United States, but President Donald Trump is considering ending it, possibly within days.
Nine attorneys general and one governor in 10 states have given the Trump administration until Sept. 5 to end the program or they will amend their lawsuit, which blocked an expansion of DACA, to attack the original policy as unconstitutional.
Stokan, who with 26 others was arrested in a civil disobedience action — sitting where they were not supposed to — at a rally Aug. 15, the first day of the vigil, said most of those taking part are Korean youth from the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium from Annandale, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.
"They were out here dancing to Korean music today," Stokan told Global Sisters Report via cellphone from the vigil Sept. 1. "There's a power and a spirit here that's beautiful and really draws people."
But there is also an undercurrent of fear, she said.