Thousands of immigrant rights advocates took to the streets in Dallas, Fort Worth and across Texas on Saturday – part of a series of protests held across the country against President Trump’s immigration policies.
In Fort Worth, Jennifer de Haro from the legal aid group RAICES connected the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy that separated families crossing the border illegally to the Tarrant County Sheriff Department’s agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The voluntary 287(g) program uses local law enforcement officers to identify undocumented immigrants in the county jail.
“As an immigration attorney, every week we hear about a family being separated after an arrest or an encounter with ICE,” de Haro told the crowd. “People being detained for months, parents being separated from their kids, spouses, siblings – really families just being torn apart.”
Big turnout at rally for immigrant rights in Fort Worth this morning. pic.twitter.com/M2J1h3an8a
— Christopher Connelly (@hithisischris) June 30, 2018
Jessica Guzman with the group United Fort Worth told the crowd her family was separated after a decade in the U.S. when her father was picked up at a checkpoint and deported to Mexico three years ago. Her mother went back soon after.
“Every day I look at pictures of my parents and I can’t go to Mexico because I’m a DACA recipient,” Guzman said. “So for me it’s hard to see them grow old and to not know if I’ll see them again.”
— KUT Austin (@KUT) June 30, 2018
Speakers encouraged protesters to do more than attend rallies – to go to the polls and vote.