Families divided by border celebrate Easter, send message of immigration reform

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SAN YSIDRO, Calif. -- Easter celebrations took place at Friendship Park, a historic meeting place for families separated at the westernmost edge of the U.S.-Mexico border.  An Easter service Sunday had a message for the White House about unity and immigrant rights.

The international border wall didn’t do much Sunday to prevent families from being together and celebrating Easter.

El Faro, the Border Church which caters to patrons of the US and Mexico, organized an Easter celebration and procession to Friendship Park. The location allows families to celebrate the Easter holiday together despite the legalities, barbed wire and metal fence that typically divides them.

“This day brings and hope, renewal and promise,” said Friend of the Border Church Father Dermot Rodgers. “Our being here is to bring families together. Is to bear witness on this side of the border that we expect and hope that one day what seemed like utter darkness and deportation will become a resurrected story of family reunification."

Patricia Contreras showed emotion when she was reunited with her family Sunday.

“She’s here because it's been 17 years since she’s seen her siblings and today she got to see them today,” said Contreras.

Local community and labor leaders from both countries attended the gathering. The group highlighted the seventh day of the “Caravan Against Fear,” promoting unity, inclusion and immigration reform.

“We don’t need any more militarization of the border. We don’t need anymore wall. We already have enough of that. What we need is to start respecting one another as human beings and to start understanding and figuring out some of the issues that are happening in Syria, Mexico, Haiti in Brazil across the world,” said Caravan against Fear spokesman Alejandra Valles.

Both groups are working to defend immigrant rights, keep families together and resist what they call President Donald Trump’s racist immigration policies.

Today’s events are a lead up to the National Strike Day set for May 1.

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