Video: This Young Girl Used her Quinceañera to Protest the Separation of Families

“Alexa Lopez protested her father’s detention by ICE by dancing in front of his prison – a dance she was supposed to share with him.” — The Lens.

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity practices Sanctuary by accompanying families who are advocating for the release of their loved one in detention. At our monthly interfaith vigils we gather to provide a space to nourish our activism, to connect with families, to educate, and to get involved.

In 2018 we supported the Lopez family by training an accompaniment team from First Congregational Church of Berkeley to assist them in their campaign to #FreeRaul. That year Raul’s daughter Alexa was turning 15 and would be celebrating her Quinceañera, but since her father has been detained, this was not an option. Nonetheless she insisted on making a statement of the impact her father’s detention is having in her life. This video was filmed at our interfaith immigration vigil where Alexa performed her “Vals” coming of age dance outside the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, CA, where her father was detained. Her statement gained national media attention, and public support for Raul’s bond hearing.

Update, June 2019: In September 2018, this family celebrated Raul Lopez’ return home to the Bay Area California. He and his lawyer continue to fight his deportation order, but at least he is now with his family, and not incarcerated.

Film by Deborah Svoboda for The Lens YouTube channel.

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