INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — President Donald Trump’s stance on immigration is sparking outrage and protests in Indianapolis. Several religious and ethnic groups came together to voice their concerns about the future of immigrants and refugees. The group gathered outside the City Market downtown.
Their message; unity. They’re concerned about executive orders President Trump signed this week that would go after undocumented immigrants, crack down on immigration and build a wall at the US-Mexico border. It’s action Trump believes enhances the safety of citizens, but they believe it further divides the country.
“I became undocumented when my Visa expired. I’m currently a beneficiary of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” said Cinthya Perez.
Perez came to the U.S. twenty years ago at 12 years old. DACA is a program that protects undocumented immigrants from deportation. Now, Perez is concerned that’s in jeopardy.
Dozens of people gathered as Perez, along with people from Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities spoke out against President Trump.
“We have young children in our community terrified that they will have to group without one of their parents,” said Perez.
A top concern is the wall. Trump ordered immediate construction of the wall earlier this week.
“To end violence we need sanctuary not walls,” Erin Polley of the American Friends Service Committee said as the crowd cheered.
The group also condemned the president for cutting funding to sanctuary cities, increased deportation of immigrants and making it more difficult for refugees to enter the country.
“The USA was established as a beacon of light for those escaping persecution in their own homes. We will not stand for intolerance in our country,” said Rima Shahdid of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana.
Malkah Bird from the Jewish Voice for Peace added, “Discriminatory immigration policies and closing borders to refugees are an insult to Jewish values and an offense to American values.”
Trump, however, continues to defend his decisions as crucial to ensure security, “The border is soft and weak. Drugs are pouring in and I’m not going to let that happen,” said Trump.
Trump spoke with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday. This comes after a cancelled meeting between the two due to a heated disagreement over who would fund the wall. President Trump called the conversation “good.” He says it lasted about an hour and they are working on a fair and new relationship.