KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The enforcement of illegal immigration separated families including several in the metro area. So Cosecha KC, which works with immigrants and people seeking asylum, set up a party for those families Saturday night in downtown Kansas City.
In the last few years, the volunteers have met many families. Some are new to America, and others have been in the United States for close to a generation.
"This is a welcome to them," organizer Jessica Piedra said. "And it is a message that you`re not forgotten to folks who are faced with deportation."
She added, "These are families. A lot of them have strong roots and they have lived in our communities for 10 or 15 years. And that we`re really tearing them apart." Piedra and other volunteers hope the party will bring a few minutes of Christmas cheer to those families.
It's just a pot luck - nothing fancy. But it's a chance to share a meal and conversation.
"This is really an American celebration," Piedra said. "And I really think just putting aside differences in general and remembering we`re all families, we`re all human beings and that`s really what we`re celebrating tonight."
Though, Piedra added, it's a party for the volunteers to enjoy as well. "We`re getting tired," she said with a sigh. "It`s been a long couple of years. And it`s hearing just more and more tragic stories of families that have been torn apart. So it`s a time really for us as well, for all of us to come together and build some kind of hope for the new year."
The people invited to the party are the people Cosecha KC has helped throughout 2019. Those included, according to Piedra, a family with a father in Mexico and a son in Children's Mercy hospital, and a Kenyan woman who was detained for three weeks, and separated from her 18 month old son.