Immigration protests will merge

Published 3:41 pm Thursday, June 28, 2018

A protest initially scheduled for July 7 in Farmville in response to the Farmville Detention Center, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility, will merge with an existing protest scheduled for Sunday, an organizer of the cancelled July 7 protest confirmed.

Marilyn Karp, an organizer with The People’s Caravan from Farmville to Brownsville, said the July 7 event will merge with the event scheduled for Sunday in the area of Wilck’s Lake Island Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We are cancelling this event and combining it with the July 1 event,” Karp said in a statement on the event page. “We ask that you join the July 1 event in Farmville.”

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The People’s Caravan from Farmville to Brownsville details a trip in which a caravan, or van, travels to different communities to bring awareness of a subject.

Emily Patton, event organizer for the Sunday protest, said the protest is meant to call attention and fight against the practice of immigration centers. She cited potential alternatives such as immigration courts.

“Bringing families back together, ending mass incarceration of immigrants, and really making established change, not just for a couple weeks or couple months, or policy changes that can change from administration to administration,” Patton said in an earlier interview. “But to create lasting immigration reform that keeps families together that keeps immigrants out of jails and prisons.”

In response to news that President Donald Trump signed an executive order June 20 that reversed the measure to separate families, Patton said in an earlier interview the protest will still take place.

“There’s still so much work that needs to be done,” Patton said. “I personally feel that this does not change why we still mass mobilize to protect immigrants who are currently here and immigrants who would like to come to the United States.”

The Farmville Detention Center was built in 2010.

The $21-million facility holds adult males and has capacity for 650 people.