United States

Local Vigils Protest Treatment of Undocumented Immigrants at the Border

Across the country, hundreds of vigils were planned for Friday evening to protest the treatment of undocumented immigrants at the border.

In West Hartford, hundreds came out to show their support, taking part in an event called Lights for Liberty. The event protests the treatment of immigrants in detention centers.

"I think we should be reaching out to them and helping them, not trying to push them away or put them in cages," said Berri Gerjuoy, one of the organizers of the West Hartford vigil.

More than 100 people came out in Hartford as well. Many also spoke about the mass immigration raids that are expected to target about 2,000 families in major cities around the US. While there is no word on whether or not any raids will take place in Connecticut, we're told there's fear in local communities.

"The policy of intimidation and bullying has created fear that's rippled through the immigration community even when they're not in jeopardy," said US Senator Richard Blumenthal.

"We know it's not really about the actual raids. It's about instilling fear in the immigrant community and the families they belong to, many of whom are citizens," said Austin Kocher, an organizer of the event in Hartford.

Immigration attorney Isis Irizarry with Capital Legal Associates says many of the cases she sees are asylum seekers.

"They're coming here to seek refuge, to seek safety, and who are we to deny them that?" said Irizarry.

In a statement, an ICE spokesperson says their priority is removing those who pose a threat to national security and public safety.

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