Washington, Apr 13 (EFE).- Some 200 fathers, mothers and children gathered before the White House on Thursday to protest the immigration policies of President Donald Trump and denounce the family separation created by the massive deportations undertaken by the magnate.
Under the slogan “We belong together,” families from Miami, New York, Colorado and the Washington DC area gathered at Lafayette Park, in front of the presidential mansion, to “raise the community’s awareness that we should be united.”
“The reason why I’m here is that the president wants to separate families. He shouldn’t do it, because it’s bad to do that. We need for him not to do it,” Nayahuari Mesa, 7, who was here with her 3-year-old brother and parents from New York, told EFE.
Her mother, Felicia Martinez, told EFE that Nayahuari is aware of the situation and, although fortunately her husband was able to acquire permanent US residence just a month ago, after 12 years as an undocumented migrant, she wants to be part of the fight to prevent other families from suffering possible separation.
“We’re a mixed family. I’m a citizen and he recently got his residency adjusted after many years being undocumented,” said Felicia, referring to her husband, who came to the US from Mexico.
Legal immigrants and undocumented migrants, as well as families who were able to take advantage of the immigration relief plans pushed by former President Barack Obama, on Thursday joined forces to make clear to the Trump administration that they are not going to give up.
Rosana Araujo, from Uruguay, came in the caravan that drove up from Miami, as part of the Women Working Together organization and after making stops in Atlanta and North Carolina, said that she is one of those immigrants without papers who could be separated from her US-born son.
“We came with our children, we’re a group of fathers, mothers and kids who – in (Easter Week) – want to send a message: that family unity exists,” Araujo, who has been in the US without papers for 14 years, told EFE.
“Let the raids stop, let there be more protection for immigrants, for each community to become a sanctuary community, for our mayors, commissioners and representatives to support the community and not cooperate with the police,” she said.
She was referring to the threats from the Trump administration against the so-called “sanctuary cities,” which by municipal decision do not persecute immigrants based on their immigration status.
Both Latinos and African Americans, to shouts of “Up with education, down with deportation,” joined together on Thursday while Attorney General Jeff Sessions, earlier this week set forth the Trump administration’s immigration plan on a visit to the Mexican border.
More than 11 million people are calculated to live illegally in the United States, and about six million US-born children are at risk of being separated from their parents if the latter are deported.