Protestors Rally for Immigration Reform in New Haven

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com
    Immigrants from Central America came together to encourage immigration reform at a rally in New Haven.

    Protestors brought the immigration debate to New Haven Thursday night.


    A group rallied on the steps of the federal courthouse to demand a solution to the growing crisis at the US-Mexico border. Their message is clear to the President: no more deportations.


    One of those who wants justice is Carlos Ventura-Escalante, who came from Guatemala because of the violence. He's 17 years old and has been here for only five months. He journeyed to Connecticut because he says he would've been forced to join a gang and sell drugs.


    On Thursday he rallied alongside Unidad Latina En Accion, a grass-roots organization defending the human rights of immigrants.


    "A lot of people are suffering," Ventura-Escalante said. "Many children are without their parents because they're dying…they're starving. there's no water. there's a lot of violence.


    Children from Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico just to name a few are part of a mass exodus from Central America, driven by extreme levels of violence.


    "They have been persecuted in their home countries, their family members have been persecuted in their home countries or they have a well-founded fear of persecution and for that reason they're coming here," said Danielle Robinson Briand, an immigration attorney.


    Organizers say since October the Obama administration has detained children and mothers from crossing the US-Mexico border. To those who say these people should be deported, Robinson Briand says you should consider the number of people in your lives and "whether they go to a restaurant, whether they have somebody clean their house, recognize these people are parents and they have kids who they haven't seen for many years."


    One of the people who made the trek across the border to New Haven months ago is Luis Miguel-Diaz.


    "My journey was very hard and where it was the hardest was when I passed it with the train," Miguel-Diaz added, referring to the cargo train used by Mexicans and Central Americans to travel toward the US border.

    Miguel-Diaz left "because there's a lot of violence in Mexico and my father abandoned me and I didn't know what to do and my mother couldn't support me anymore."

     

    The President is pushing for an emergency request of $3.7 billion to deal with the humanitarian crisis but there have been sticking points namely the Republican request for speedier deportations.

     

    Both sides are expecting more battles ahead before any compromise.