On Friday, May 30, Tulare County for Families (TC4F) staged a ‘light brigade’ action, calling for a stop to the mass deportations that separate families. The event was a follow-up to the group’s June 13th delivery of over 600 crosses to Representative Devin Nunes’ (R-22) office. The crosses represented people who have died crossing the Mexican-American border.
Nunes has yet to respond to TC4F’s call for him to act on comprehensive immigration reform, passed by the Senate but stalled in the House.
The brigade gathered at 8pm at the Visalia courthouse at 221 S. Mooney Blvd. and trekked south, crossing the 198 overpass to set up at the College of the Sequoias. The event was widely announced on social media and email flyers.
“Current immigration policies encourage the separation of families via deportation,” said Diane Leigh Koletzke of TC4F. “Many children in our community have been stranded here while one or both parents are deported. These children are U.S. citizens. On behalf of these children, we are asking that deportations be stopped until immigration reform can address the issue more effectively and more humanely.”
The brigade consisted of a series of LED-illuminated panels, each held by a different person. Each individual panel displayed one letter of the alphabet. Activists, known as “holders of the light,” assembled in a line. Together, the light brigade literally spelled out a political statement – “STOP DEPORATIONS NOW.”
Tulare County For Families advocates for the preservation of family unity by empowering families through education and promoting an environment that fosters civic engagement and productive citizenship; valuing the contribution of the immigrant population; advocating for all families to be treated with dignity and respect; and promoting the general welfare for all members of our community.