Children and Youth to Mayor Gimenez: Protect Our Families, We Belong Together!

we-belong-together-2016_drawingChildren and youth write “A wish for the Holidays” letters to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez asking him to protect their families from deportations and discrimination

What: Children and youth deliver christmas letters to Mayor Gimenez and sing songs

When: Wednesday, December 21st at 11:00 a.m.

Where:   Office of Mayor Gimenez – Stephen P. Clark Center 111 N.W. 1st Street, 29th Floor Miami, Florida 33128

Who: Children and youth from Miami and Homestead will be accompanied by members of the “We Belong Together” Campaign, WeCount!, American Friends Service Committee, Power U Center for Social Change, Women Working Together USA, Miami Workers Center, United Families, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, Alianza Americas and others.

Visuals: Children and youth deliver letters and sing christmas songs

Miami, FL – Instead of writing lists for presents or holiday cards, children of immigrants from Miami and Homestead are writing letters asking their Mayor Carlos Gimenez to protect their families as their wish for the holidays. Over 100 letters will be delivered next Wednesday at the Mayor’s office by a delegation of children and youth who will also sing songs and read their letters to the Mayor and County Commissioners.

elenas-letter_we-belong-together“I don’t want anything for Christmas, but one of my wishes is to keep my family protected. Not just my family, but our immigrant community”, wrote 17-year-old Elena, whose father was already deported and depends on her mother to sustain herself and four younger brothers and sister. Elena’s mother, Lucia Quiej, was the Guatemalan immigrant who asked a question during one of the first Democrat Debate back in March.

President-elect Trump campaigned on the promise of continuing building a border wall, deporting immigrants and registering Muslim people, which has generated anxiety for the sons and daughters of undocumented immigrants who fear losing their parents and family members. Children and youth have met several times in the last month to write letters and also talked about their “Wish for the Holidays” on local TV.

“The children have heard what Trump said during the elections and are terrified. We are counting on Mayor Gimenez and other elected officials to do everything in their power to protect immigrant families from being separated for no other reason than being undocumented,” says Lis-Marie Alvarado, organizer for the “We Belong Together” campaign.

A Wish for the Holidays is a project of We Belong Together, a collaboration of women’s and immigrant rights groups working toward humane immigration policies. Children and youth are invited to participate and can get involved at www.WeBelongTogether.org/wish. The website includes age-appropriate activity guides and background information for adult facilitators.

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