Locals gather to protest family separation and border conditions

Local News

People gathered in Washington Square Park in Rochester on Friday to protest family separation, migrant treatment at the border, and to remember those who have died in the camps.

Lights for Liberty is a national event organized locally by organizations like Indivisible Rochester and the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence.

Deni Mack is on the executive committee of Roc ACTS and was one of the protesters.

“I’m here because we cannot separate babies from their mothers, we cannot separate families at all, and we need humane treatment of every immigrant whether they’re a refugee, an asylum seeker, we need to vet the people to see if they are asylum seekers, we can’t just throw them in cages,” said Mack.

As these protests popped up across the country, Vice President Mike Pence visited the McAllen border patrol station. He said this while being asked about the conditions at the border:

“It’s time that we move past the harsh rhetoric of the American left and we moved to the facts. The facts are we have a crisis on our southern border that is being driven by human traffickers who are exploiting loopholes in American law to entice vulnerable families to make the long and dangerous journey north. I have to tell you for Karen and me it was heartbreaking as parents to talk to young children who told us of having walked two or three months up the peninsula.”

Ashley Attisano was also at Friday’s protest. She said the situation at the border hits close to home.

“It was important for me to come because I have children and I think fleeing a situation for safety and walking into an even worse fire and losing your most precious possession which are your children and you are charged with keeping them safe and it is now out of your control, it’s one of the worst atrocities parents and children can suffer,” she said.

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