By Mark & Jenny Semet
A rally was held on June 24, 2018 “to protest family separation at U.S. borders.” as reported in an article written by Andrea Tudhope of KCUR radio on June 24, 2018. My wife, Jenny and I also attended the Cosecha KC and KS/MO DREAM Alliance and Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation sponsored rally at Nichols Fountain in Mill Creek Park in midtown Kansas City. The purpose of the rally was to protest the Trump administration’s policy that children of families immigrating into the U.S for asylum are being snatched from their parents at the U.S. border. I observed hundreds of people attending the event, a huge attendance.
A number of people including one of the organizers spoke at the rally. The first speaker, a minister, presented the following argument, and I paraphrase, or quote the unidentified speaker throughout. Her belief was that our government officials, including “[Jeff] Sessions” the attorney general of the United States and generally the Trump administration are inappropriately using the Bible to justify placing immigrant children in internment like camps. The same speaker went on to say that Christianity supports helping, not harming the “oppressed” and “victimized” and is never to be used to “justify unjust laws” or “hate”. The speaker further encouraged the crowd to “contact leaders of both parties” to seek to change an immigration system that victimizes people. The speaker concluded her talk indicating that these victims are being judged for the “color of their skin” or “for their country of origin”.
The second speaker of the rally was Raiza Guevara, the featured photo for this newsletter, whom I have paraphrased or quoted. She indicated that the organizers are here to let people know that they are not going to “accept the government separating more families”. The speaker emphasized that the people who have had families separated need to speak up about their situation.
The third speaker named Heidi who originally came from Mexico City and moved to America with her siblings whom she described as “three very successful people”. She went on to give a summary about her experience with the immigration crisis in our country. She stated, “having a male family member who was deported”. The speaker goes on to indicate that her older parents had the burden of helping the deported individual’s wife, who remained in the country to raise the man’s several children. She indicated that the wife, who was unemployed, and with no income, had to sell virtually everything she owned to survive. It was reported that the affected couple had been in the U.S. for 20 yrs. Furthermore, she indicated that the young mother was recently deported without her children, who are now being raised by the speaker and her older relatives. A consequential crisis in the future is that the children will likely be deported to a country foreign to them, as they had never lived or even visited Mexico.
The second speaker, Raiza Guevara, returned, and I will paraphrase or quote from this speaker’s testimony. She indicated that we need to fight and continue to fight against separating families and we need to stay together. She stated, “We have a right to vote. We have a right to save these people. We need to be their voice.”
The fourth speaker of the rally, Fabiola Cruz as paraphrased or quoted indicated that this was her first rally. I will mention a news article whereupon she tells her story. An interview occurred and was reported in an article written by Andrea Tudhope of KCUR radio on June 24, 2018. The article by Ms. Tudhope quotes Ms. Cruz, as saying, “My sister served as a Marine and she’s not even able to have her husband here,” Cruz told the crowd. Cruz and her sister are citizens now, but she said her brother-in-law was deported in January to Mexico. “They have a baby. This family separation policy is hurting our families. Not just my sister’s family, everybody’s family,” Cruz said.”
The fifth speaker of the rally, Mayor Sly James, stated “We do not support what’s going on in DC. We have to stand and fight this. Because if we don’t at the end of the day, it’s not about them, it’s about us. We define what our country is about…these are children who are being separated from their families. It is traumatizing, it is inhuman, it is immoral, it is wrong. We must stop it now.”
Photos and Videos by Mark A Semet & Jenny Semet