Immigration Rally in Springfield brings up Welcoming Cities
Through the heat wave, immigration rallies still went on all across the country, from New York city to Los Angeles.
The same tension and passion happened in our capital city Saturday, in front of Illinois’ Old State Capitol.
Crowds took to the streets calling for change and said the Zero Tolerance Policy goes “beyond politics”.
"It's emotional because we are trying to, in solidarity, show support at what is happening at the border,” one Action Illinois organizer and immigrant advocate said, Veronica Espina. “We want to educate our city and say, ‘You know what's happening at the border is cruel and inhumane’, but we also have immigrants here, let's take care of our immigrants here as well."
The key note speaker, Linda Rivas, traveled in, from the US-Mexico border.
“Currently in El Paso,” Rivas said. “We have people marching on both sides of the border."
She said she's reunited a few families, but not enough.
"The worst possible thing is happening,” Rivas said. “Under this administration currently."
Rivas said there were policies she was unhappy with under the Obama administration too, but feels this moment in time is the worst it’s ever been for immigrant families.
"I’m really appalled by some of the policies,” one protester, Kelly Hurst, said.
One protester hopes the numerous rallies will make an impact.
"I’m just really glad to see everyone out here on such a hot day,” Hurst said. “Which means, our community members are totally invested in this work."
Many said they're ready to join forces and promote the idea of Sanctuary, or Welcoming cities, something Espina wants to bring to Springfield.
“So this is a big symbol!” Espina said. “This represents what we want to be as a country, we want our immigrants to contribute to be part of society and not here, at the lower level, we want them to be fully invested in the community and contribute and show their talent of who they are."
Espina said they have been working on advocacy and education for months in and around Springfield and have expanded their endorsers, including institutions and faith organizations, to over 50. Espina said they hope to bring the conversation and resolution of Welcoming Cities back up to the city of Springfield, sometime in the near future.
The rallies across the nation had a uniform message: Families Belong Together.
It's been more than a week since president trump signed an executive order. About 2,500 children were separated from their families.
As of this week, a little over 520 have been reunited since then.