Truckee rallies against Trump administration’s separation policy
July 3, 2018
Residents and visitors gathered in downtown Truckee on Saturday to partake in one of more than 700 events nationwide to speak against President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy that separated immigrant families crossing the border illegally.
According to organizers, around 300 people gathered to voice their concerns holding signs that read "Keep families together" and "Families together now" while some chanted "no wall, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.
"It is amazing to see how many people took time out of their weekend to join this rally in support of immigrants' human rights," said Silke Pflueger, an organizer of the event and leader of the Tahoe Truckee Indivisible group. "We now need to turn all this energy towards our politicians. Hold your elected representatives accountable, and vote out the ones who support this inhumane treatment in November."
Silke said that her grandparents were Nazis and her parents were refugees.
"I am an immigrant and a naturalized American citizen," she said. "I have decided I will fight for my adoptive country."
"It's hard to acknowledge what we don't want to see, but this is why it was good for local Truckee-Tahoe people and visitors alike, to unify on Saturday in peace and love," said Truckee resident Janet Atkinson in a letter to the Sierra Sun.
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As media attention was drawn to Trump's zero-tolerance policy on immigration a mass debate was sparked in the U.S. over the morality of separating young children from their parents after crossing the border illegally. On June 20, Trump signed an executive order ending the policy which placed adults crossing the border in federal custody for prosecution, while their children were sent to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department and placed with sponsors in shelters or foster homes.
Last week, HHS announced that there were 2,047 still in their custody who were separated from their families under the "zero-tolerance" policy. However, officials did not say when they would be returned to their parents.
"When we allow ourselves to be separated, we are made weaker. Love is a self-renewing source. We cannot run out," said Angèle Marie Carroll, an organizer of the event.
Despite Trump's executive order, concern for the remaining children in custody prompted California, along with 16 other states, to sue the administration over its policy of separating immigrant families at the border, demanding that the they reunite the children with their parents.
Last week U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw ruled that the Trump administration had until July 10 to reunite migrant children under 5 with their parents, and until July 26 to reunite the rest.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or email@example.com.