Two hundred children and advocates rallied in front of the White House yesterday to protest the separation of families and deportation of parents. The advocates, led by the group We Belong Together, come from New York, Colorado, Miami, and Washington, DC. The group from Miami had been caravaning since the beginning of the week, stopping in and holding events in Atlanta and North Carolina on their journey to the White House.
Trump has been cracking down on the deportation of undocumented immigrants, which has caused the removal of immigrants who have been in the US for decades, who raise US-born children, and who have no criminal record. As a result, families have been separated, and fearful immigrant parents have been forced to line up guardians for their children (in case they, the parents, are deported) and secure their children’s US birth certificates.
The speakers yesterday and throughout We Belong Together’s week of action underscored the fear that children and parents are feeling. Leah Wilson, an 11-year-old, was born in Miami to undocumented parents, and her mother has a deportation order. As she said yesterday:
It is a horrible feeling. It is like when somebody you care about can die at any moment. It is sad because if she gets deported I will never see her again. I don’t know how long it would be to see my mom if she gets back to Nicaragua. I will be put in foster care if she gets deported.
I cannot even sleep or do my homework. All I can think about is my mother being taken away from me. But I also know that it does not have to be that way. We don’t have to destroy communities just because Trump said so.
Meanwhile, Rosana Araujo, also from Miami and an immigrant who’s been in the US for fourteen years, said she’s a mother who worries being 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. 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.
Read more about We Belong Together’s week of action below, and view photos of their caravan here or below: