Last night, over 400 Montanans gathered outside the Missoula County Detention Center to raise our voices and make it clear that “No human being is illegal. No child expendable.” Last night’s rally and vigil came together in response to the “zero tolerance policy” criminalization of undocumented people that has resulted in an extreme upsurge of ICE arrests and deportations, family separations, and racial profiling in Montana and across the United States. In the past couple months, 16 people have been arrested in Montana for being in the country without proper documentation. Currently, six of those people are being held at the Missoula County Detention Center – right here in our own town – while at the border thousands of children are being separated from their parents and held in cages inside of an old Walmart. This is deplorable. A lack of documentation does not excuse a lack of humanity. These people carry stories and scars with them that we must try to understand. They leave their home countries for refuge, to support their families, and for a better life. We must remember that…
“no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.
you have to understand,
no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land.
who would choose to spend days
and nights in the stomach of a truck
unless the miles traveled
meant something more than journey.”
The rally tonight was a start towards showing up for the immigrant refugees living in our communities, whether or not they are undocumented. Please join us in the coming months as we continue to raise our voices and work for immigrant justice near and far.
JRPC Program Assistant