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‘Zero Tolerance’ Immigration Policy Has Stockton Families Concerned

STOCKTON (CBS13) — In the past several weeks, hundreds of children have been separated from their parents at detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border under the Trump administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy.
Faith and community leaders in San Joaquin County call it cruel and unnecessary as those parents face prosecution for attempting to cross the border illegally.
Inside the Stockton office of Project Voice of Immigrants, calls are coming in from worried family members who have loved ones stuck at the border.
“They are afraid about what to do in that situation, how they can help, my brother is at the border and they separate,” said Luis Magana, Project Voice of Immigrants.
The agency is passing along phone numbers to human rights organizations and contacts at consulates to some of the countries where people are migrating from, anything to bring loved ones comfort.
“We are calling our local congressman to provide some kind of resources or information that we can provide to the local families here,” he said.
Faith leaders say the images and sounds coming from those detention centers are disturbing. They call it cruel and inhumane.
“That’s harming those children. Traumatizing them, and that is going to have some consequences for the future. So, I don’t see any necessity. I think it’s aggression, and aggression is not good for anybody,” said Leonardo Suarez, counselor.
Faith leaders also say lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have to come up with a better solution to the ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy. They want children back in the arms of their parents.
“Long ago, everybody was doing their own thing, but now the modern society, I think we need to work things together. It’s not just an issue of the United States, it’s also an issue of the whole Latin America. We need to work together. The governments need to work together,” he said.
Leaders with Project Voice of Immigrants are planning to host a workshop for area families on Thursday. It’s a chance for them to talk about what’s happening at the border.

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