On July 2, protesters gathered at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse to challenge the inhumane treatment of immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border and to demand the end of the immigration detention camps. The rally was organized by MoveOn.org and included speakers Frank Rodriguez from the 805 Immigrant Coalition, and Blanca Figueroa, a representative from Congressmember Salud Carbajal’s office.

Among the participants was Vanessa Massel, a 24-year-old Santa Barbaran: “I just feel so sad about what’s going on, and I just feel horrible,” she said. “There’s so much abuse going on … it’s really state-sponsored kidnappings and child abuse. And I want to do something to help.” Another protester, Chet Hood, who was 65, said, “We’re done with the adjectives. It’s now time for the verbs.”

The crowd observed seconds of silence to remember Jakelin Caal Maquin and other children who have died in custody of U.S. immigration officers. As they then marched around the courthouse and headed down State Street, they chanted, “Close the camps now!”

Credit: Nancy Rodriguez

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