Hello my name is Josue De La Trinidad. I am 27, from Whittier, CA, and I joined Xplor to help me find my purpose and what God wants me to do. Xplor is a prophetic movement of and for young adults who are considering lives of care and service, and I will be an intern for 10 months with the Northern California office of IM4HumanIntegrity. I attended my first Immigration Vigil at the West County Detention Facility on Saturday, September 3, 2016. It was a new experience for me. I have never participated in any event like this. I have always just worked on things on my own and rarely in a group environment. Being there and watching people with different beliefs and religions in unison sing and pray was something amazing to be a part of. It taught me that even though we come from different religious backgrounds, we can work together to make a difference, and it’s easier if we do it together rather than trying to work on our own.
When I had read on social media about immigrants that are detained and how they are treated, sometimes I passed it off as people making it seem worse than it really is. But that day I heard testimony from a Honduran family, Jose and Julisa and their two children, who were actually detained and felt trapped in the tiny rooms. Jose, the father, was detained for over 60 days. Hearing their stories it becomes real and not something that was made up. It makes you think about what really is happening to people that are just trying to come and make a better life for their families and what we can do to help them.
I had never heard on the news that our country is also detaining children and families in detention centers, and it’s a horrible feeling to think that we as a nation try so hard to keep our kids safe, but disregard the lives of other children because they are not from here. As a way to advocate for the children and an end to family detention, we will be sending the message “Diapers not Detention” to President Obama. At the vigil we wrote messages on diapers that will be sent to President Obama and our members of Congress. Messages like “Babies need cribs, not prison cells” and “no jail for babies” and “Let My People Go” and “God Loves All the Little Children” were written to persuade those whom we elect to protect us that we need to protect every child, no matter where they come from. We will be delivering over 100 diapers to our Congressional leaders in the coming. I found this to be an enlightening experience and I hope this will take us a step closer to helping these children and their families.
Join our Vigil every first Saturday of the month, at 11 am- 12 noon, West County Detention Facility, 5555 Giant Highway, Richmond, CA. For details, email, email@example.com.