Grand Rapids holds vigil to rally against ICE and border camps

Jul 25, 2019

Citizens of Kent County, Michigan are calling for an end to human rights violations against immigrants.
Credit Sergio Cira Reyes

The vigil was held on Wednesday evening outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Grand Rapids and drew nearly 100 people to the event.

“My father came to the United States undocumented in 1966. It took him 30 years to become an American citizen. The process is not easy.”

That’s Sonya Hernandez. For her coming to the vigil is a way she can advocate on behalf of the immigrant community.  

“People are trying to come into the United State because they are fleeing terror, they are fleeing corruption. The trek that some of these families are taking and the sacrifices that they are making and they are literally risking their lives to get here for safety purposes only to enter a country where they will be terrorized as well.”  

The vigil was organized by Grand Rapids Rapid Response to ICE. They are a network of people trained to come to the aid of immigrants who face arrests, detention or deportation from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Here is Jeff Smith one of the organizers. 

“We say that this is community helping community because we are not a non-profit organization. We are just a group of volunteer organizers who believe that its important for allies to step up and be in solidary with our immigrant members of our community.”  

In the last couple of weeks tensions have been high in the immigrant community since the Trump Administration made the announcement that immigration authorities would begin carrying out mass arrests of immigrants. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.