Politicians and activists from Oregon continue their efforts to try to pressure the federal government. They want to change how Immigration and Customs Enforcement processes incoming migrants at the U.S.-Mexico Border.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley co-sponsored new legislation in Washington D.C. Thursday morning. It would end family separations, find alternatives to detention and require that kids have 3 meals a day.
“If this was some other nation, we would be saying what happened? What happened that this some other nation is treating children in this fashion? But it’s happening here in the United States of America,” Merkley said.
Merkley, a Democrat, visited a camp near the border last year. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden says he supports the bill as well.
In several cities across the state, including Eugene, activists plan to join a national “Lights for Liberty” vigil on Friday to honor the lives of migrants who’ve died in camps.
“We couldn’t bear to sit still and be silent while these atrocities were continuing at the border,” Jeri Linn said.
Linn is an organizer with Indivisible Eugene, one of 7 organizations that came together to hold their own vigil locally. Linn said their event will provide opportunities for people to actively support immigrants in the community.