Immigrant advocates organize National Day of Action for Children

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Immigrant rights advocates, including the ACLU, organized Friday's National Day of Action for Children, and it was a child who inspired protesters at the rally in Memphis.

When Aubrey Chavez heard the federal government was taking immigrant children away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, it upset her so much that she made a special request to mom, Anna.

"She said 'for my birthday I want ICE not to be separating families.' If a little 8-year-old girl is wanting to do something, why am I sitting here doing nothing?" Anna Lopez said.

So Anna & Aubrey joined several non-profits, and on Friday night, Aubrey spoke at the Families Belong Together protest in front of city hall.

Memphis was among 30 U.S. cities holding demonstrations, demanding the Trump administration stop separating families.

"This is not a partisan police issue, this is a human rights issue. Every person should be appalled," immigration attorney Sheila Starkey Hahn said.

Starkey Hahn said since the feds started a zero-tolerance policy at the border in early May, arresting undocumented immigrants, 700 children have been taken from the adults they were traveling with.
"It makes me furious," Starkey Hahn said.

Both Starkey Hahn and Aubrey Chavez think America can do better.

"I mean, I think that it should be welcoming the people that come here, because after all, it is the land of the free," Chavez said.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced May 7, "If you cross the border unlawfully, we will prosecute you."

The children with those arrested are taken to shelters or placed in foster care. Advocates say such treatment is emotionally traumatizing.

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