HOUSTON — The new Free Los Ninos Coalition, a collaboration of activists from several local groups, gathered Monday morning to protest plans for a immigrant children’s detention center in downtown Houston.
Gloria Ruback says, “How dare they put a concentration camp for unaccompanied minors on a street called Emancipation Avenue.”
A warehouse on Emancipation Street, which previously housed Hurricane Harvey victims, is set to house kids up to 17 years old who are separated from their parents after crossing into the U.S. illegally.
Southwest Key, the company that now owns the building, has been met with intense opposition from local leaders including Mayor Sylvester Turner and U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee.
The mayor has asked the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to deny Southwest Key a child care facility license.
Free Los Ninos is a conglomerate of several local organizations with global demands. The coalition comprises of members from the Brown Berets, FIEL, Houston Socialist Movement, Refuse Fascism, TEJAS, Workers World Party and several others.
Kofi Taharka represents the National Black United Front. “We say hell no to them keeping anybody there on Emancipation Avenue, or any place in Houston!”
Sandy Jones represents Refuse Fascism. “We are horrified, sickened and outraged about the heartless brutality that the Trump regime is carrying out against our immigrant brothers and sisters.”
“And it has underlined the need for activists from different organizations to work more closely together on behalf of dignity and justice for migrants,” adds Dr. David Michael Smith, representing Houston Socialist Movement.
“We want to end the harmful and very destabilizing U.S. intervention in other countries which leads to migration,” says Ruback. “The assault on migrants is part of a broader attack that’s going on in the United States on people of color, women, LGBT communities.”
Mario Salinas represents TEJAS, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services. “As the most diverse city in the U.S. take a stand against anything that will dehumanize any of us.”
These activists are taking their concerns to City Hall. Because even though we’re six hours from the border, their opinions are definitely not on the fence.