Standing Up for Racial Justice Rhode Island (SURJ) braved the windchill to hold a vigil outside the Federal Building across from Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence Tuesday evening to commemorate International Migrants Day.

“President Trump is portraying migrants as a security threat to advance his anti-immigrant agenda,” writes SURJ. “Communities across the United States are demanding an end to border militarization and calling for immigration policies that respect the rights and dignity of all people.”

The vigil capped a week of action across the United States that began on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

In Providence, well over a dozen people held signs over the course of the two hour demonstration, some staying for only minutes, others staying for the entire time. The held signs that said “Demilitarize the Border” and “Abolish ICE,” among others. Some signs took direct aim at Bank of America for its role in funding ICE detention centers.

SURJ writes that people immigrate for many reasons. In fact, “all people who live in this counry, with the exception of indigenous peoples and formerly enslaved people, immigrated to this country,” writes SURJ.

People immigrate for many reasons:

  • People flee from religious prosecution.
  • People flee because of war and violence.
  • People migrate because of famine or food insecurity.
  • People flee economic security, when jobs and income are not adequate to care for family.

If you would like to help, SURJ recommends donating to a local group such as AMOR (Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance) or PrYSM (Providence Youth Student Movement).

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