We first will enjoy camaraderie and food between 6 and 6:45 pm and then hear Maria Cuerda, who has worked with immigrants in Springfield for many years, discuss why so many people flee their homes in Central America and Mexico to come to the U.S. and how many are held in detention centers when they arrive here. The deportation machine is sweeping up everyone in its path and the U.S. government now turns away or imprisons many people who come here in fear of their lives, destroying the meaning of refuge and asylum in this country.
We also will discuss what actions we can take toward ending this detention of families, especially children, amidst the current atmosphere of criminalization of these asylum seekers. Then, we will hear from Lucio Perez. Lucio has been in sanctuary at First Church UCC Amherst since October 2017.