Calder Plaza immigration rally: a human chain, call for Obama to halt deportation

 Michigan United mounted a rally to mark the one year anniversary of the passage of the Senate’s historic, bipartisan immigration reform bill which drew over 200 people .  Unfortunately, for the nation and especially immigrant families, the bill is stuck awaiting House GOP leaders to bring it to the floor for a vote.  In the meantime, the Obama administration has managed to deport a record two million people.

“It doesn’t take a degree in social work to know that children suffer when they are separated from their parents,” said Arbor Circle’s Kathy Siegenthaler, a social worker who works with immigrant families. “But, as a social worker, I can tell you deportations devastate families.  I have seen it first hand and that’s why I joined in the push for President Obama to put an end to families being broken apart. He needs to stop the deportations, now.” 

Raquel Salas from Avanti Law Group was part of the rally. The coalition group Michigan United also works closely with Avanti’s Meghan Moore and immigration attorney Richard Kessler, according to Gema Lowe, a consultant and activist who helped pull the event together.

While the rally began with music and prayer and the atmosphere was positive, participants were focused on the seriousness of the broken immigration system and the families threatened by deportation. 

“Everyone is rightly focused on improving education in Michigan.  But it’s very difficult for children who live in fear of losing loved ones to focus on anything but that,” said H. Lupe Ramos-Montigny of the State Board of Education.
“Families need and deserve stability. Their communities need stability.  It’s time to put human needs above politics. President Obama must do what he can to stop the deportations and protect our families and communities.”

The Calder Plaza human chain/immigration reform rally was part of Michigan’s statewide contribution to a national day of action with events in dozens of cities across the nation including Detroit, Lansing and Kalamazoo.

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