Charlotte shows up for Mi Familia Importa march
A diverse group of dozens of Charlotteans marched down Central Avenue early Saturday, March 30, to show support for the immigrant community.
Mi Familia Importa was the second annual walk commemorating Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez, and their work to defend immigrants, workers and women.
Participants marched three and a half miles from the Latin American Coalition to Action NC, where they shared a meal and discussed their ongoing search for justice. Organizers of the event said there are real emergencies in our community.
“ICE is waging a campaign of terror against our immigrant families. Children have died in immigration custody. While the rich receive tax breaks and continue to get richer, on the backs of workers, very little of these riches trickle down to our families. Women continue to earn a fraction of what a man earns, FOR THE SAME WORK,” the Action NC event page read.
Over the past month, ICE has heavily targeted immigrants for detention and deportation. Nationally this week, photos surfaced of hundreds of asylum-seeking migrants under a bridge in El Paso, Texas, caged in by fencing and razor wire. Locally, there have been reports of Charlotte children left without parents and businesses suffering a drastic reduction in customers, as many residents are afraid to leave their homes. There have also been eyewitness reports of ICE going door to door in the Central Avenue area, seemingly searching at random for undocumented residents.
Citizens have voiced their outrage at recent city council meetings, prompting councilmembers to issue a public declaration of support for our immigrant community. Lawmakers in Raleigh responded by proposing a bill that would force all North Carolina sheriffs offices to cooperate with ICE and its 287g program–a program Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden ended shortly after taking office last May.
When asked about the march today, Robert Dawkins, political director for Action NC, said “Action NC was happy to see people of different ages, races, and social statuses out today calling for ICE to end its hateful fear mongering and racist attacks on people of color.”