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NH Cities Join Worldwide Trump Immigration-Policy Protests

More than 600 events are planned across the U.S. and globe tonight to protest conditions in American immigration detention centers at the U.S./Mexico border. (Boss Tweed/Flickr)
More than 600 events are planned across the U.S. and globe tonight to protest conditions in American immigration detention centers at the U.S./Mexico border. (Boss Tweed/Flickr)
July 12, 2019

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – People in more than 600 cities across five continents are holding vigils tonight to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies and call for an end to migrant detention.

The "Lights for Liberty" rallies are a response to continued reports of inhumane conditions and family separations. Eight vigils are scheduled across New Hampshire.

Alison Hirsh, vice president and political director with the Service Employees International Union 32BJ – one of the event sponsors – says she isn't surprised that so many have organized vigils.

"I think it's another testament to the fact that the majority of Americans believe that people are people, whether they're native-born in the United States, or whether they come here to seek a better life for themselves and their families,” says Hirsh. “And people are angry and upset, and want to stand up and say, 'Not in our name. We are going to fight back.'"

Events are scheduled across the state at different times. Granite Staters can find the nearest vigil online at 'LightsForLiberty.org.'

Hirsh says SEIU decided to sponsor these vigils because the union sees U.S. immigration policy as a workers' rights issue.

"Immigrants come to this country to find work and build a better job for themselves and their children, and their families,” says Hirsh. “That has been the history of the United States, and it continues to be the reason people come today. So, if this isn't a labor issue, I don't know what is."

Hirsh adds that many SEIU members are directly impacted by the detention and deportation policies. She says she hopes the vigils shine more light on the inhumane treatment of immigrants and their families.

Disclosure: 32BJ SEIU contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Immigrant Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Jenn Stanley, Public News Service - NH