Prayer Vigil Held In Solidarity With NWA Immigrant And Refugee Community

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- In English, and in Spanish, prayers were said during a vigil held to show solidarity with the immigrant and refugee community in Northwest Arkansas.

A few dozen people from Fayetteville and the surrounding area gathered at Good Shepard Lutheran Church for the service Thursday (Jan. 26).

Emily Crane Linn, resettlement director of Canopy NWA, which provides refugee assistance, was in attendance.

"[The vigil] is a time of solidarity with all immigrants, including refugees," she said. "A time to pray and process together."

The future of immigrants and refugees across Arkansas and the country remains uncertain after the signing of two executive orders by President Donald Trump.

Mayra Esquivel, an undocumented immigrant, said her and people in similar situations are in an uncertain place.

"The key word 'uncertainty,' and that's scary, because you're looking out into darkness right now," Esquivel said. "We don't know what's going to happen."

President Trump has made clear that he wants to build a wall along the southern U.S. border and stop illegal immigration, but he has recently focused less on deporting everyone who is undocumented, and more on immigrants with criminal histories.

"We are going to get the bad ones out," said Trump at a press conference Wednesday. "The criminals and the drug deals and gangs and gang members and cartel leaders. The day is over where they can stay in our country and wreak havoc."

Esquivel hopes people will open their hearts and lend an ear.

"I want to challenge everyone to hear the story of an immigrant," Esquivel said. "To listen to them, to sit down with them, and see what their story is and open up their minds a little big."

4 comments

  • Never go full liberal

    Why use the term “uncertainty”? They are trying to scare people into believing that something is going to happen to them when it is really not, unless of course you are ILLEGAL in which case something should happen to you. If people want to come to America they should have to go through the same process as everyone before them, I think everyone would be totally fine with that.

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