Grants Pass, Ore. – President Trump’s administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy has sparked numerous protests across the U.S. The Josephine Social Justice Alliance organized another rally outside of the Josephine County Courthouse Thursday. Their message — this practice is unacceptable.
“We know there are children all over the country who are not with their families, and people are saying they may never be able to reunite the families,” JSJA member, Constance Palaia said.
Just days ago, a federal judge in California issued an order to stop the separation of families at the border, and reunite families who have already been separated. But, protesters say it won’t be enough until those families are actually reunited.
“It’s going to take protests its going to take involvement and its going to take voting to solve this. I think some of the regulations are a first step, but I’m not sure I’m seeing those go in the direction that we would like to see,” Rogue Indivisible member, Suzanne Lavine said.
Some residents say — given the typical political climate of Grants Pass– they were shocked to see the protest.
“The reputation of our area is non-inclusive, let’s put it that way, so this is a huge deal for us to be out here and say Grants Pass cares,” Palaia said.
Vice president Mike Pence spoke out in defense of the U.S. immigration policies in Guatemala Thursday. He says the borders are the strongest they’ve ever been, and the influx of immigrants is “a threat to the security of the United States.”
“We’re increasing enforcement and prosecutions. We’ve begun construction of a new southern border wall, and we’ve enacted the largest investment in border security in nearly a decade,” Pence said.
However protesters in Grants Pass told me they won’t stop fighting for their beliefs, and they encourage people to get out, protest, and vote.
“If you want to see change get involved and vote, your voice counts,” Lavine said.
Protesters today say they will continue to show up until they see change. This Saturday at 9:30 a.m., they will be holding a march that starts at Riverside Park and continues to the courthouse.
Devin Gooden graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a Master’s degree in Sports Journalism.
She has spent most of her life in Atlanta, Georgia and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in Business Management.
When she’s not reporting, Devin practices yoga, reads thriller novels and loudly cheers for her beloved Georgia Bulldawgs.