National Day of Action Recap: #CloseTheCamps
Prompted by the recent wave of news coming from the US border, many people throughout the country gathered yesterday in solidarity for the “National Day of Action: #CloseTheCamps” rallies.
Hundreds of protestors shut down the streets of San Francisco, while on the opposite coast, a crowd of over 400 congregated at the steps of Middle Church in the Bowery neighborhood of Manhattan where we were on the ground to make our voices heard in solidarity. Throughout the country, concern for the safety and mental health of the young migrant children of asylum seekers has grown steadily over time.
The public outcry comes on the heels of devastating news. Just last week, reports of a young father, Óscar Martínez, and his daughter Angie Valeria, both from El Salvador, perished in an attempt to expedite their journey north by crossing the Rio Grande. The desperation amongst those fleeing violence and inequality in their native homelands is only increasing.
Many people who attended the rallies came for personal reasons. Such as John Alvaro, a 34-year old man who said he was ‘standing up for his father, a political asylum-seeker from Cuba, and his 3-year-old daughter.’
“I had to tell my daughter that right now people who look like her papi are being seen as less than and being kept away from safety … that it might be because they don’t like you or speak your language. And she said ‘I’m going to say hola, buenos dias and [President Donald] Trump won’t like me.’”John Alvaro, NYC resident
Many immigration activists, who have been sounding the alarm about the conditions of the detention centers along the border, are finding the collective conscience of the nation finally catching up to the atrocities the (largely) Central American community has been facing.
With Congress approving a massive aid package with minimal oversight that leaves many wondering whether the funds will be used appropriately. It seems as though we may have finally reached a moment of reckoning in the long battle over immigration legislation and US foreign policy.
As this news coverage below shows, the nation is getting restless.