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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Locals unite for unity

Demonstrators+waved+the+American+flag+as+they+spread+their+message.
Photo by Photo by Sarah East

Demonstrators waved the American flag as they spread their message.

Hundreds of Bryan-College Station community members gathered in front of Rep. Congressman Bill Flores’s office in Bryan to show their support for families separated and detained at the US-Mexico border.
Saturday’s protest was one of many rallies across the nation where Americans spoke out against the treatment of asylum seekers and immigrants by the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy enforced by the Trump administration. The local demonstration was coordinated by several organizations including the Brazos Interfaith Immigration Network (BIIN), Brazos Sanctuary Coalition, Centro de Derechos Laborales, Council for Minority Student Affairs, Indivisible TX-17 and Brazos County Democrats.
BIIN fundraising intern and sociology senior Soha Mumtaz said the demonstration is centered around equality for all.
“The main message is that immigrants are human beings and the fact that they’re treated as less isn’t something anyone should support,” Mumtaz said. “We should want an administration that runs this country to support all human beings and all individuals and treat them all equally.”
Mumtaz said she wants people to believe that immigrants are people too.
“These are our people,” Mumtaz said. “America was made on immigrants. How can we not accept them? How can we do this to innocent children? It’s not their decision to come here, or their families leave their home countries because they want a better life. They come to America for better opportunities, and to be treated like criminals is absolutely wrong.”
Pastor Dan De Leon from Friends Congregational Church attended with members of his congregation and said despite heckling from opposing passersby, there was a positive and proactive energy from demonstrators and the community.
“This is not about something that can be or need be politicized,” De Leon said. “It’s about human rights, justice and taking care of people, especially children, the littlest ones.”
De Leon said the members of his congregation are speaking out against family separation and seeking the immediate reunification of detainees at the border.
“I know that people have all kinds of different opinions and perspectives based on their media outlet of choice, et cetera, about the immigration issue, but regardless of what people are running from or trying to cross the border to get into, they’re human beings,” De Leon said. “We need to treat each other with the same level of compassion that we would treat our own neighbor.”
Adriane Beer, a member of Indivisible TX-17, emphasized that the demonstration was less about political ties and more about human rights.
“We are joining with all the other local groups that are for American values, American principles, what the Statue of Liberty stands for,” Beer said. “We’re built on immigrants. We believe immigrants and diversity make communities stronger.”

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