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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 1:00 am

Latino Democrats schedule local protest

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

The Latino caucus of the  Allen County Democratic Party is organizing a Fort Wayne rally to protest the separation of immigrant families detained at the U.S.-Mexico border by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Stop ICE” is scheduled for 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Allen County Courthouse Green.

Pablo Hurtado, a Mexican-American and president of the Latino Democrats of Allen County, said Monday in an email that “the treatment of the undocumented immigrants by ICE is wrong” and “un-American.” 

A flyer that Hurtado's group is distributing about the protest states, “From raiding communities to separating children from their families, ICE has displayed a lack of humanity through their unethical practices.”

Family separations are part of a “zero tolerance” policy imposed by President Donald Trump's administration last month. The Department of Homeland Security said Friday that 1,995 children were separated from “alleged adult guardians” from April 19 through May 31.

Hurtado said speakers at Saturday's rally will include himself; Max Montesino, an associate professor of organization leadership at IPFW and a member of the board of the Hispanic Leadership Coalition of Northeast Indiana; and the wife of John Aguilera, the Democratic candidate for state treasurer and a former state lawmaker from East Chicago.

“We are hoping for a large turnout,” Hurtado said.

Meantime, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., tweeted Sunday night that he would co-sponsor the Keeping Families Together Act, which would prohibit the separation of children from their parents or legal guardians within 100 miles of the U.S. border unless the child is at risk of being a victim of neglect, abuse or trafficking.

As of Monday, all 47 Democrats in the Senate and both of the chamber's independents had co-sponsored the bill or vowed to do so. None of the Senate's 51 Republicans, including Indiana Sen. Todd Young, had signed on as co-sponsors.