Caravan protesters call on ICE to release detained children, reunite families

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SAN DIEGO — A caravan protest held Saturday called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release detained children and reunite families.

Several dozen vehicles took part in the protest, honking as the caravan made its way through the streets. Among the protesters was a woman who has been living the reality of a separated family ever since her husband was detained by ICE almost 11 months ago, leaving her and her four children without him.

“It’s been hard. They ask me every day when is their daddy coming home and it’s just something very emotional to deal with,” said Jael Serrano Altamiral. “Like how am I gonna tell our kids when … like, he’s not coming back? So that’s why I ask ICE to please release my husband.”

Altamiral told FOX 5 her husband has been in the United States since he was three years old and has no criminal record. Since his detainment, he’s lost 40 pounds and has developed a heart condition, according to his wife.

“He needs a heart specialist,” said Altamiral. “And now due to COVID-19 there’s already eight detainees that are positive in COVID-19 so we’re scared.”

She joined together with the other protesters, stressing she wanted to protest peacefully to get the message across.

Organizers called on participants to wear masks and practice physical distancing.

“What I would want it to accomplish is for these kids to be released with their family members, that’s it,” said organizer Margie Moreno. “That’s all I want. ICE has the power to do it. I just wish that our voices will be heard for them because they don’t have a voice while they’re in there. So we’re the voice for them.”

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