Activists hold funeral procession to protest deportation

Activists hold funeral procession to protest deportation
October 05
08:45 2017

Activists held a mock funeral procession in downtown Winston-Salem last week to protest deportation.

It was one of three protests on immigration policy held in North Carolina that day, with the other two being held in Greensboro and Durham.

Activists protested the Trump administration widening deportation priorities beyond felons and ending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Activists also made specific appeals for three undocumented immigrants who had taken sanctuary in North Carolina churches: Juana Luz Tobar Ortega and Minerva Cisneros Garcia in Greensboro and José Chicas in Durham.

Participants signed a petition appealing to lawmakers for a local act to prevent their deportation.

Since then, it was announced on Monday that Cisneros, a Winston-Salem resident who took refuge in Congregational United Church of Christ with her two young sons, has had her deportation order vacated by a federal immigration judge and is now free.

Last week’s local event, held by the Sanctuary City Coalition, began at Merschel Plaza on Fourth Street as more than 50 participants listened to speakers denouncing current immigration enforcement. They included Oscar Zuniga, associate pastor of New Hope United Methodist Church, who talked about fear in the immigrant community since Trump was elected; John Cox, director of holocaust studies at UNC-Charlotte, who compared the ban on Syrian refugees to turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany; and Lillian Podlog with the Sanctuary City Coalition.

“We are here today, why? Because we believe in human dignity,” said Podlog. “And we know no human is illegal. And we know mass deportation is a human rights violation.”

They used a mock black casket as a prop, symbolic of those who died after being deported. Participants read the names and stories of deportees who died of disease, suicide and, most often, violence when they were sent back to their native countries.

After that, they marched in a mock funeral procession led by activists carrying the “casket.” The Downtown Bike Patrol stopped traffic at intersections as protesters crossed various streets on their way to the Forsyth County Detention Center, where inmates flagged by ICE for immigration violations may be transferred to ICE detention centers and eventually deported.

Activists left the “casket” there and then marched back to the plaza chanting pro-immigration slogans and displaying their signs supporting DACA and immigrants regardless of their legal status.

About Author

Todd Luck

Todd Luck

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors