Thursday, 19 July 2018

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Upcoming rally will advocate for immigrant families

By Collin Breaux, For Panama City News Herald, On 06 July 2018, Read Original

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“We demand Trump and his administration take immediate and transparent steps to reunite families,” said Hiba Rahim, coordinator for CAIR-Florida’s north region.

PANAMA CITY — An upcoming rally in Bay County against the treatment of undocumented immigrants will join similar events set for Washington, D.C., and across the country.

The Families Belong Together March will happen at the Hathaway Bridge in Panama City at 4 p.m. Saturday to protest undocumented immigrant children being separated from their families at the border. The separation and treatment of immigrants under President Donald Trump’s administration has sparked national outrage. Trump reversed the policy last week, though exactly what steps are being taken to reunite previously separated families remains unclear.

Washington County resident Melinda Hall, who frequently commutes to Bay County, initiated the Hathaway Bridge rally after finding out one would be held in the nation’s capital. Hall said children are “voiceless” on the issue and should be advocated for.

“This march is about speaking up for them and advocating for child safety,” Hall said.

 

Several state and local organizations, including CAIR-Florida (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and the Young Democrats of Bay County, will participate. The event will include speakers and a walk across the bridge. Participants are asked to meet at the Gulf Coast State College side of the bridge before the walk starts.

“We demand Trump and his administration take immediate and transparent steps to reunite families,” said Hiba Rahim, coordinator for CAIR-Florida’s north region. “It’s inhumane. It’s cruel. It’s an unacceptable way to treat families coming here seeking refuge.”

Trump signed an executive order to keep families together, though Rahim said families still aren’t being reunited and the zero tolerance border security policy hasn’t ended. Trump also has called an end to due process for immigrants crossing the border.

Similar rallies will be held in Gainesville, San Diego and other places throughout the nation Saturday.