Vigil held for immigrant families - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Vigil held for immigrant families

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

 A Vigil in downtown Waterloo Sunday night to show support for the thousands of children without their family on Father's Day at the US Mexico border. Over a hundred people gathered at Lincoln Park Sunday to express their outrage over the zero tolerance policy implemented at the border.

US Border Patrol officials say they're treating those immigrants like US citizens. 

 "That is no different than a US citizen parent that is going through a judicial process prosecuted for violating the law, being separated from their parents as well," said Manuel Padilla JR., US Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief. 

"Imagine you don't speak the language, and you don't know what's being said, and these children are being separated from their siblings," said Cheri Roberts. 

Roberts helped organize the Waterloo vigil, hoping to send a message to those seeking passage to the states. 

"To me its just about showing them that not all Americans are cruel and hateful," said Roberts. 

Roberts plans to head to the border to continue her work. 

"I felt the need to do something concrete, and i do speak Spanish," said Roberts. 

Roberts heads to Texas in September to volunteer to support those seeking legal asylum. 

"To just be a friendly face, even if I didn't speak Spanish i would go, because i think a smile a touch can be so reassuring, a human connection. To show that someone from the outside cares, and that's kind of what i want to do," said Roberts. 

That policy went into effect last month but the justice department says it will prosecute all the immigration cases referred to it from April on. 

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