Religious groups team up for caravan rally, 32 arrested
In an inspiring gesture of unity, over three hundred members of various religious groups came together in solidarity for the migrant caravan on Monday. By the end, 31 were arrested for demonstrating in the “enforcement zone.”
Organized as a call for the U.S. government to pull military from border communities and respect the human right of migrants and refugees to claim asylum, the event gathered hundreds of people, with many being faith leaders from all backgrounds. The demonstration took place at San Diego's Border Field State Park, an area directly bordering Tijuana, Mexico.
This comes as the second rally that has caused tensions to rise on the San Diego border since the arrival of the Central American caravan in November. The first confrontation, following another peaceful protest in San Ysidro, CA on November 25th, led to a five-hour closure of the world's busiest border, as well as the U.S.-sanctioned act of mass tear gassing along the port of entry.
U.S. border agents and military personnel were fitted up in riot gear awaiting similar violence Monday morning. What they were greeted with were desperate pleas from leaders across the country: “Let us give them the resources they need," one reverend requested, “We don’t need military. We need judges.”
The demonstration Monday was meant to launch a national week of action called "Love Knows No Borders: A Moral Call for Migrant Justice," which falls between Human Rights Day -- on Monday -- and International Migrants' Day on December 18th.
"Showing up to welcome and bless children, mothers and fathers seeking asylum from very difficult and dehumanizing circumstances is the right and humane thing to do," said Bishop Minerva G. Carcano from the United Methodist Church. "How we act in these moments determines who we will become as a nation."
Almost ten-thousand troops are currently deployed across the United States-Mexico border. With an extremely limited amount of claims being processed daily, thousands of asylum-seekers are still facing weeks or months in crowded refugee camps set up in Tijuana, Mexico.