KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Organizers of the KC Families Belong Together Rally estimate upwards of 1,500 people gathered on the lawn of the Liberty Memorial on Saturday to speak out against the Trump Administration’s immigration policies.
In April, the White House enacted a controversial new policy toward undocumented immigrants that prompted the separation of thousands of children from their parents at the US Southern border.
“For the last five decades since I crossed the border as an immigrant, as a child, the walls have been there. Way back then they were invisible and there was a lot of support systems that came to your rescue, right now the voices are loud and angry and hateful and overt,” Socorro Herrera, Kansas State University Professor and Executive Director of the schools Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy said.
Now years later Herrera says watching the recent border crisis brings back painful memories.
“I am going through some trauma in watching children and families and on days feeling helpless,” Herrera said.
Even those who haven’t experienced this trauma first hand attended the rally in support.
“I think families should be kept together and not separated and I don’t think kids are responsible for the things that are going on,” Rally Participant Gregg Moore said.
Hundreds of people braved the heat to let their voices be heard.
“It filled up quite a bit for as hot as it was,” Moore said.
Herrera says this rally is just a small part of what it will take to affect change and increase tolerance nationwide.
“Feel the pain but do something with it, have it give you strength and energy, get out there, get others to get out there,” Herrera said.
This rally in Kansas City was one of 600 demonstrations planned across the country.