On Friday, July 12, 2019, I went to a vigil in San Jose, California, to protest the terrible conditions in the detentions centers at the border and to protest the child separation policies of the Trump administration. A great diversity of people attended to voice their dissent against the Trump administration’s refugee policies.
One of the groups that made the most impression was a group of Japanese Americans who compared their experiences as internees during World War II and the experiences of today’s migrant families from Central America. A Japanese American woman spoke about the discrimination faced by the Japanese American community, how the federal government dehumanized the community as an excuse to intern them. The Trump administration is using the same scapegoating against immigrants and refugees.
Native Americans gave a special dance to commemorate their culture and show their solidarity with their Central American counterparts.
I was encouraged by the large number of people who attended the vigil. I was moved by many of the speeches.
Here are a series of videos by the Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) series “We Have Rights,” a national empowerment campaign to inform immigrant communities of what to do when interacting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).