Hundreds converge on Civic Plaza calling for reunification of separated migrant families
June 30, 2018 06:33 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Hundreds of protesters gathered in Civic Plaza Saturday morning, joining millions of others across the country in decrying polarizing federal immigration policies.
In the heart of Albuquerque, protesters held signs that read messages like "Reunite migrant families" and "End family detention." Mayor Tim Keller and other politicians were present at the Families Belong Together Rally.
"We can't imagine the heartache and the anger that folks are feeling all around our country," Keller said.
The protesters were specifically speaking out against the part of President Donald Trump's policy that saw hundreds of migrant children separated from their parents on the U.S.-Mexico border in just a matter of weeks.
Similar rallies were also held in Farmington, Gallup, Roswell and Santa Fe.
"This is only hurting families. It is not helping anyone in our community," said Isaac De Luna, political director for the NM Dream Team, at the rally.
De Luna said the group is seeking a permanent end to family separation, the immediate reunification of those who have been separated and an end to family detention.
"Those family separations are still happening as long as the agencies of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) continue to exist," he said.
Among the crowd at Civic Plaza were also teachers—some of whom said they teach immigrant students, including Michelle Perez from Highland High School.
She said it isn't just immigrants at the border being affected.
"The students I work with have been through so much. Having another layer of stress is not what they need right now, and it's not good for our country," Perez said.
Samantha Ashby, a school counselor at Manzano High School, said she was horrified when the Trump administration started separating children from their parents.
"I'm a parent as well as work with children, and I just can't imagine being separated from my children or my students having to go through that," Ashby said.
Updated: June 30, 2018 06:33 PM
Created: June 30, 2018 04:14 PM
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