Today groups in Western North Carolina came together to give a voice to documented and undocumented immigrants.
Over a week ago federal officials in North Carolina say they arrested hundreds of immigrants in who were in the United States illegally.
On Monday, “A Day Without Immigrants” was held around the country and in Asheville.
Those involved say they see Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a threat.
“This is not the first time or the last time, but the way they’ve come into our communities and created panic again this is the community saying enough,” Bruno Hinojosa said.
Miriam Porras says she’s here today as a mother.
“I cannot imagine and I would not imagine how would I feel if at this very moment I wouldn’t be able to see my kids,” Porras said.
CIMA, Companeros Inmigrantes de las Montanas en Accion, is a non profit in Asheville that advocates for immigrant rights.
Coco Alcazar, CIMA Co-Director, says when people say things like “come to america the right way” they don’t realize just how difficult legal immigration can be for families from poverty and war torn countries.
“When people want to apply for a visa or a permit in their home countries just the process of getting an interview is extremely costly and it’s paid in US Dollars so that’s just first step and it’s extremely difficult”
CIMA says immigrants play an important part in american society and the first step in dissolving the divisiveness around this topic is to realize how important immigrants are.
“Who cuts your vegetables, who cooks for you, who takes care of your family members, who takes care of the people around you, but just to see that and acknowledge that is one,” Hinojosa said.
CIMA website: http://cimawnc.org/