Hundreds of people marched and chanted a call to action for immigration reform on the streets of downtown Greensboro on Saturday, August 5.
FaithAction International organized the fifth annual Downtown Unity Walk for Immigration Reform. The goal of this march was to draw attention to recent deportations and immigration policy issues and to stand united with families who have been affected.
The day was marked with music, dancing and the celebration of different cultures. Many held flowers representing someone who had been deported or someone who is at risk of being deported.
FaithAction International board member Melanie Rodenbough remarked, according to News & Record, about the want to unite the community together– including immigrants living in Greensboro. Saturday’s march had a great turnout that included several immigrants; it was a day that organizers say sent a message of embracing diversity and culture.
FaithAction helps give assistance through educating businesses and companies on immigration issues and connecting immigrants to community resources.
“Nothing’s going to stop us from serving, loving, and protecting our neighbors,” said David Fraccaro, director of FaithAction in an interview with News & Record. “These are our neighbors, these are our friends. We’re not okay with this unnecessary suffering.”
Marches such as the Unity Walk for Immigration Reform are a result of President Trump keeping his campaign promises regarding the crackdown on immigration. According to the New York Times, President Trump plans to introduce new legislation that takes away preferences given to extended family members and adult children of U.S. citizens seeking green cards. The President has also requested more immigration officers and signed an executive order authorizing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deport any illegal immigrants, including those without a serious criminal record.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, arrests have gone up nearly 40% since January, with an average of 400 arrests in the country every day.
Last month, a group has gathered in Greensboro to denounce the increase in ICE arrests of immigrants who have no criminal records.
“Immigration is a moral issue,” said Greensboro resident Michael Wildman, a march attendee, in an interview with News & Record. “Voters need to elect better officials who understand that.”