Hundreds gather at the Denton County Courthouse to protest Trump administration’s immigration policy

Hundreds gather at the Denton County Courthouse to protest Trump administration’s immigration policy

Hundreds gather at the Denton County Courthouse to protest Trump administration’s immigration policy
June 30
15:51 2018

Hundreds of people gathered at the Denton County Courthouse lawn Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy. The protest, named “Keeping Families Together,” correlates with over 700 similar events being held across the United States.

The national organization, MoveOn, announced that Saturday will be a day of protests. Texas had 30 cities participate.

“Even though it is just little old Denton, we are still saying something,” said Saja Davis, Texas Woman’s University senior and rally organizer.

Denton’s event featured eight speakers including educators, faith leaders and representatives from the democratic party. The Stonewall Democrats, Indivisible Denton, voter registration groups and the Opening Doors International Services tabled at the event.

“Sometimes for a lot of different groups of people it’s better to get outside of our own communities and help each other,” Davis said. “We just can’t turn our back on each other. We have seen what hatred can do to this country. It is time that we all come together and help each other.”

On April 6, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the U.S. will have a zero tolerance policy for people entering the country illegally. In the months of April and May, nearly 2,000 minors were separated from their families.

“The situation at our southwest border is unacceptable,” Sessions stated in a press release. “Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest — that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border. As a result, a crisis has erupted at our southwest border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border.”

A young woman holds a sign that reads “Solidaridad Con Humanidad” which translates to “Solidarity with Humanity.” Josh Jamison

President Donald Trump signed an executive order June 20 to end family separation but to continue the zero tolerance policy. California Federal Judge Dana M. Sabraw issued a nationwide injunction Tuesday saying separated children must be reunited with their families within 30 days.

Davis said multiple times throughout Denton’s event that the separation of families is a non-partisan issue.

“This isn’t a Democrat issue,” Davis said. “This isn’t a Republican issue. This is an American issue.”

After the national anthem, eight speakers addressed a crowd of all ages holding signs with statements including “fight ignorance not immigrants” and make America sane again. A group of young kids brought a dog cage with dolls inside.

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty,” the children’s mother Sharon Johnson said, quoting Thomas Jefferson.

One speaker, Chris Ice, who is an educator and president of the Denton League of United Latin American Citizens Council 4366, told a story of a group of young soccer players who stayed with their teammate, who was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, instead of celebrating a soccer win at The Main Event.

TWU student Saja Davis is one of the coordinators for the Denton County Courthouse protest against Trump’s immigration policy. This is the first time she has coordinated a protest. Josh Jamison

“There is a safe place,” Ice said. “It is called familia, escuela and comunidad.”

Tm Thompson from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church said the separation of children from their families is sinful.

“[Children] are not pawns for us to implement a policy,” Thompson said

Reverend Mauricio Orozco of First United Methodist Church spoke in Spanish for his speech. He prayed that the children and families will experience God’s love and grace.

Reverend Jonathan Perry from Open Worship at the First United Methodist Church ended his speech by chanting, “Let God’s people go.” 

“It’s a crime against the heart of a God who created all people of sacred worth,” Perry said. “When I heard texts from my faith traditions, being used to prop up this regime, my God’s name used in vain, my voice broke open to. Not in my God’s name.”

Mariela Nuñez-Janes, an associate professor at UNT who researches migrant education and undocumented youth, gave out the number 469-778-4979 — a rapid response network hotline to help those under Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Responders can provide legal resources and support if family separation happens.

After the speeches, attendees marched around the courthouse chanting “zero tolerance for zero tolerance” and “families belong together.”

While nationwide protests were ongoing Saturday morning, President Donald Trump was at the Trump National Golf Club — his private resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. He went to Twitter and discussed the Democrats calls to abolish the ICE.

The president also encouraged members of ICE telling them not to lose their spirits.

Before the protest, Davis spoke about separated families being brought together.

“This is something much bigger than petty politics at this point,” Davis said. “What’s going on right now is inhumane, and it needs to stop. These families need to be brought together, and they certainly need to be brought together without a treat.”

Featured Image:Protesters of all ages and races listen to the many speakers on the Denton County Courthouse lawn.
Josh Jamison 

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Devin Rardin

Devin Rardin

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1 Comment

  1. Ric
    Ric June 30, 17:39

    In America humanity is not an option to be chosen (or not) by our government. Humanity is a sacred right, the core of our value as Americans. We will fight this sinful action by the Trump administration and will keep fighting till they stop this,unlawful, inhumane, distortion of our laws.

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