Immigrant reform supporters launch vigil to ignite hope, promote change

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) — As Immigration Customs Enforcement cracks down on immigrants across the nation following President Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy, some Utahns are joining together for a vigil, hoping to help reunite separated families.

Occupy ICE movements across the country are launching a national coalition, starting with the One Million Flames Vigil.

Several cities across the United States held their own One Million Flames Vigil.

The vigil in Salt Lake City was held outside the First Unitarian Church.

“They are not alone,” said Meggan Hafen, an event organizer and founder of Occupy ICE Salt Lake City. “We are still here and we hear them. We are here to mourn the victims and the pain they are going through to share solidarity with them, that we are still here, we still are fighting for them.”

Hafen says a million flames represents millions of families separated at the border.

Sven Haynes, another One Million Flames event organizer and first Unitarian Church volunteer, says the event is about hope and resilience.

“To me (the vigil is) just about showing hope, by sheer volume of light being shed in the dark,” said Haynes. “I hope this is a turning point in America to bring some love and some rationality to the current system.”

Haynes says he wants to see more compassion for immigrants.

He says it’s heartbreaking to see families ripped apart.

“It really grabs my heart,” said Haynes. “I’m a father of three children (and) I’m an immigrant myself. I have been in situations where I didn’t know if I would be allowed in the country sometimes… it makes me afraid for them.”

Hafen encourages people to volunteer to help others. If you’d like to volunteer, email Meggan Hafen at occupyiceslc@protonmail.com

“The amount of love that I have witnessed from other people, the expressions of gratitude gives me hope in all the face of the devastation and negativity,” said Hafen.

Hafen also encourages volunteers to follow the Occupy Ice SLC Facebook group.

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