LOCAL NEWS

Utahns attend vigil in support of unifying immigrant families

Jun 23, 2018, 11:11 PM | Updated: Jun 24, 2018, 10:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Families gathered at a rally in support of reuniting immigrant children separated from their parents in Salt Lake City Saturday.

This as other rallies were held across the country, while controversy and confusion continue at our country’s southern border.

The group Mormon Women for Ethical Government hosted the “Keep Families Together Vigil” in City Creek Park.

More than one-hundred people showed up in support, while a lone dissenter watched from afar.

“I grew up undocumented. I’m part of DACA,” said Cynthia de la Cruz, now a nurse’s assistant locally, who shared her childhood story with the crowd.

Cruz, a newlywed who continues to seek citizenship, was one of those children now in the spotlight, but she never was separated from her family. “It’s so hurtful because I love my family so much,” she said picturing their struggle.  

Cruz wasn’t the only one to share her conflicted American story.

My name is Adhis Boucha and I speak as an undocumented immigrant and a U.S. citizen.” She continues choking up, “They don’t come here to be lazy. They come here to unite with something that’s great and add their own greatness to here.”

Organizers tell us they hope the event encourages locals to push for more humane laws and better treatment for those who have crossed the border.

“If we can all give a collective cry on behalf of the mothers and demand that the us government return our children to us,” said Celina Milner.

But like our national conversation, not everyone at the vigil felt the same.

Martin Turner held an American flag a short distance from the event.

I love all the people who came here legally to help us out,” said Turner, who says he wasn’t there in protest, but to make a point.

 He says in any situation someone who breaks a law is separated from their children.

“I don’t know what to say. This is a mess, but this is unwarranted,” he says pointing at the vigil. “All these protests around the world, I will be at every one standing for my president,” said Turner.

de la Cruz doesn’t see it that way, “Why would they stop you from helping people? It’s just not fair to give you a label just because you weren’t born here,” she said.

Protests and rallies are expected to continue across the country as immigration officials work to reunite children with their parents and lawmakers grapple with where to go from here.

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