DeKALB – Local organizers are inviting the community to take part in a national night of vigils to advocate for change at the U.S.-Mexico border and attend a rally from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in Memorial Park, 101 Lincoln Highway.
Cynthia de Seife of DeKalb is leading efforts from local advocates to participate in the Lights for Liberty rally, held nationwide to protest the immigrant detention centers and separation of children and families who attempt to cross the border. The rain location is First Congregational United Church of Christ, 617 N. First St.
Seife said people should come join the vigil, and learn about the realities of the U.S.-Mexico border.
“This particular issue is important because there’s a humanitarian crisis happening,” Seife said. “People should come out and learn, that’s always going to be my mission, to teach, to inform. By having a rally like this, we can bring information to the people.”
Immigrants attempting to seek asylum have garnered national and international attention as of late, as the Trump administration tightens policies relating to migrants attempting enter the country. Reports of centers used to house migrants along the southern border have received widespread backlash after the Associated Press, law groups and advocates visiting the border reported squalid conditions and border patrol officials separating children from parents.
The first hour of the event beginning at 7 p.m. will have family friendly activities with art, music and a community mural for people to gather together, Seife said. The second hour will feature first-hand testimonials of people’s own immigration journey or experience on the border and informative presentations on the laws and issues.
The event will culminate in a candlelight vigil and moment of silence at 9 p.m., in sync with Lights of Liberty rallies nationwide, Seife said.
“It’s about immigration, about how the country is welcoming or not welcoming people,” she said. “There’s a great deal of concern all over the world about what’s happening at our southern border. It’s just really alarming.”
Several civic groups are helping organize, Seife said. Participants are encouraged to bring their own chairs since seating is limited at the park.
For information on Lights for Liberty, visit www.lightsforliberty.org. For information about the local event, visit REACT DeKalb on Facebook [Responsive Engagement Activating Civic Talent] and look for the Lights for Liberty Facebook event.