They chanted, they held signs, and they sang Mexican lullabies. At times, they screamed as loud as they could: “¡Niños, no están solos!” (“Children, you are not alone”), hoping those inside the warehouse-turned-prison would hear them.
That was the scene on Father’s Day as more than 100 people gathered for an emergency rally outside the Ursula Immigration Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, on the border with Mexico, about an hour’s drive west of the Gulf of Mexico.
In an inspiring show of solidarity, dozens of activists from places as far away as New York and North Carolina made the trip to the Rio Grande Valley and joined local organizers and community members to bear witness as families continued to be torn apart at the border.
During the days since, outrage at the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has crystallized into protests that have spread far from the site of nightmare on the border.
On Wednesday night, hundreds of people got themselves to New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on a few hours’ notice to greet children forcibly separated from their families, as they arrived on flights orchestrated by federal authorities to transfer the young detainees away from facilities at the border.
Immigrant rights organizations sent out the call late Wednesday to greet the flights, and people responded immediately, coming to the airport with handmade signs in Spanish to tell the children “No estan solos” (“You are not alone”), “Ustedes son importantes” (“You are important”) and “Los queremos y lucharemos por ustedes” (“We want you and we will fight for you”). Chants rang out in the still-crowded terminals as people tried to meet each plane.
The fact that separated children were arriving in a city thousands of miles from their parents on Wednesday night proves that Donald Trump’s executive order — signed that morning to supposedly stop family separation — isn’t even the beginning of the end of this…