Glenwood Springs joins rally for families separated at border | PostIndependent.com

Glenwood Springs joins rally for families separated at border

Hundreds of protestors marched along Grand Avenue through Glenwood Springs Saturday morning, speaking out against President Trump and his administrations' immigration tactics, and the recent separation of families detained at the border.

Beginning in Sayre Park, the scene was loud. Cars honked as the Commander in Chief's opposition waved signs such as, "Babies belong in playpens, not in jail cells," "Stop ICE," and "No human is illegal."

"I just imagined myself being separated from my parents when we got here," Colorado People's Alliance Community Organizer Ana Rodríguez said.

Rodríguez crossed the border at the age most children in the United States attend preschool – 4 years old.

"Crossing the border is scary enough for a child as it is, and your parent is the only one that ties you to the home, family and the normalcy you leave behind when you cross. Forcibly being taken from a parent just seems like the biggest terror a child could face."

The protest's route eventually took over Centennial Park in downtown Glenwood, where participants were rallied to chant, "Hey, hey Donald J, how many kids did you steal today?" as well as, "The people, united, will never be divided!"

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One of those united followers was DACA recipient Junior Ortega.

Wearing an "I Stand With Immigrants," t-shirt, the Rifle resident said he feels like he, himself, has a target on his back, and putting into words the fear he lives through on a daily basis proves difficult for the 26-year-old.

"To feel what we go through … I mean it's bad," Ortega explained. "You know, driving without a license, whether it's speeding, whatever, broken tail light, that's, you're a target.

"Many people don't have to worry about simple things like that. Not having your sticker on your license plate, that's enough … for you to be on ICE radar. Jaywalking is a simple thing. If a cop wants to pull you over for jaywalking ,that's enough for them to start questioning you if they really wanted to … It's little things like that, that we always have to watch out for."

If deported, Ortega would get sent back to Mexico where he hasn't lived since he was a small child.

"They (ICE) have me on their scope. They're just waiting for the clear from the administration to just do it," Ortega said.

Before the protest march commenced, Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition Deportation Hotline Manager Sophia Clark read aloud a letter written by Sandra Lopez. Lopez currently lives in sanctuary at Carbondale's Two River Unitarian Universalist church parsonage.

In her letter, which was translated from Spanish to English by Clark, Lopez wrote, "Although I am not able to be there with you all, I am with you in heart and soul. I'm especially with those parents and children on the border. My fight is a fight for justice and dignity for families."

While family separation at the border, without question, sparked the protest, the demonstration and its speakers, like that of former Colorado state Sen. Gail Schwartz, also implored citizens to call their senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, and encouraged 18-year-olds to register to vote.

Similar protests took place all over the state, including Denver, and across the country.

Jake Cousins, director of communications and development for Padres & Jóvenes Unidos, was at the Denver rally. He told the Post Independent, "After the Trump Administration's most recent executive order, which functionally just allowed indefinite family detention … Activists and community groups and just concerned citizens felt like it was time to take direct action to send to the elected officials at every level that this sort of inhumane treatment is unacceptable and our communities won't just, you know, lay down and let it happen."