SA group heads to border to denounce immigrant family separation

Child advocacy group plans vigil near detention center

SAN ANTONIO – A group from San Antonio boarded a bus Wednesday for McAllen to protest immigrant families being separated at the border.

The child advocates, who are part of the "Save the Children" campaign, plan to host a vigil near a holding facility.

KSAT 12 News reporter Max Massey caught up with group members about the trip to the Rio Grande Valley.

What is your motivation for the trip?

"It's sad, as a mother and a grandmother, that a child doesn't have a mother to hold onto," said Grace Hernandez, who helped organize the bus ride to McAllen.

The issues of children being separated from their families are hitting  close to home for many people.

"No child should be taken away from their mothers like that, and we are their defenders," Hernandez said.

Hernandez and about 40 people joining her for the trip want to make a change.

"Because these children need our help, and if they cannot have their mothers here, then that's who we are," she said. "We can intervene and say, 'Enough is enough.'" 
When you hear about the stories and see the pictures of the situation, what do you think?
"That's going to be terrible for those kids, and have an impression on them the rest of their life, and this is not what America is about," said Tom Strickler, who is making the trip.
Strickler and others in the group said holding children in cages, as seen in photos, is cruel and they consider it child abuse by the U.S. government.

"To know that this is something that is going to affect them for the rest of their lives, and that our government is allowing this, it hurts. It hurts to know as an American," Hernandez said.
What is the goal of the trip?

"The plan is for us to stay focused on what we are going for, and that is to pray. There is nothing more powerful than prayer," Hernandez said.
In addition to prayer, Hernandez said the trip is about voicing concerns and organizing.

"Get as much footage ourselves and meet with other groups and keep going," Hernandez said.

The idea is to show more people in San Antonio the situation and possibly take the fight to Congress.

"We may have a bus going to D.C., and we are talking with some of our elected officials," Hernandez said.

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