"Don't Deport My Dad!" Father's Day Vigils for Immigration Reform

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In seven Washington cities community members held Father's Day rallies calling on Members of Congress to support immigration reform.

Members of OneAmerica held vigils and rallies in seven cities across Washington State over Father's Day weekend, showing how families and communities are hurt by deportations and calling for their Members of Congress to come out in support of comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. The events in Mount Vernon, Pasco, Spokane, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, Yakima, and Vancouver brought together dozens of people who shared their stories with their neighbors and local media, with creative activities that demonstrated the great value that immigrant residents contribute to Washington State.

In Pasco, local activist Rosia Lopez told reporters, "You may not be an immigrant or an undocumented immigrant, but a friend might be. A neighbor might be. A cousin, a family member, a teacher. You don't know. Because reality is, we're all human." Watch video from the event in front of Representative Doc Hastings' office via KNDO TV. Yakima residents also called on Rep. Hastings to come out in support of comprehensive immigration reform. 10-year old Jessica Lara was interviewed by the Spanish-language radio station KDNA, speaking about the loss of her father to deportation. Listen to her moving story here.

Walla Walla community members held a vigil at the office of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, with candles in the shape of the letters CIR for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, carried placards reading "MISSING" to symbolize both deported dads and votes that will disappear if legislators fail to support immigrant communities. Enrique Soria spoke of his disappointment at graduating from college this year without his mom being able to attend the ceremony, due to her deportation. Timothy Sullivan connected his concern for immigration reform to a lifetime of activism, from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s to the Farmworkers' Grape Boycott. "None of us is free until all of us are free," he said. Watch the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin's video coverage of the event.

In Mount Vernon, more than 60 members of OneAmerica and SEIU called for immigration reform on a busy street corner with American flags and signs reading "Don't Deport DREAMers," calling out the members of Washington's Congressional Delegation who voted to de-fund the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has given thousands of DREAMers legal status for the first time. Rallies were also held in Vancouver at the office of Rep. Jamie Herrera-Beutler and in Wenatchee, the district of Rep. Dave Reichert. The Wenatchee rally brought together supporters of OneAmerica, the local community organization Grupo CAFE, and the United Methodist Task Force on Immigration.

Full media coverage of Father's Day rallies and vigils:

Poll: Immigration Reform? Get it Done, Congress
Chris Thomas, Public News Service - June 17, 2013

Pasco
Local Families Rally for Immigration Reform
Breanna Gilroy, KNDU TV - June 17, 2013

About 25 attend immigration reform rally in Pasco
Paul T. Erickson, Tri-City Herald - June 17. 2013

OneAmerica holds immigration reform rally in Pasco
Josh Peterson, KVEW-TV - June 17, 2013

Vancouver
Immigrant rights advocates to host rally
The Columbian - June 14, 2013

Walla Walla
Video: Father's Day rally for immigration reform
Rachel Alexander, Union-Bulletin - June 18, 2013

Yakima
Immigration backers rally at Hastings' Yakima office
Mike Faulk, Yakima Herald - June 18, 2013

Audio: Cobertura de manifestación y entrevista con Jessica Lara sobre deportación de su padre
Radio KDNA - June 17, 2013

Lágrimas por el Día del Padre
El Sol de Yakima - June 20, 2013

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