Hogsett vows to immigrants that Indy welcomes all

February 12, 2017 | WRTV 13 | Link to Article

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Stand with us. That's the message hundreds of people had for local lawmakers as they united against new immigration policies.

They say those policies could tear apart their families.

The sign outside Saint Philip Neri Catholic Church and School seemed to say what many gathered inside the school were longing to feel Sunday from the city they call home.

"We here in Indy today are part of a great movement," said a woman standing before the standing room only crowd.

Juan Garcia was part of that crowd. Garcia is here with his family because he fears being deported.

"We are really scared because there are a lot of cities with raids," said the 39-year-old Garcia.

He was one of hundreds who gathered with the city's faith leaders and members of the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network or Indy CAN after the past two days which saw ICE raids in six states across the country.

"Enough of separating families. Enough of all this. It's time for us to make sure families stay together," cried another woman, who explained her husband was detained in September after a trip to a mechanic. He's set to deported, leaving her in Indianapolis alone with their four children.

In the wake of similar stories, Indy CAN issued a call to action to local lawmakers.

"Mayor Hogsett and our city-county council can pass a resolution for a city of inclusion to ensure that no city or county resources will be used to enforce federal immigration laws, Muslim registry or stop and frisk," said an Indy-CAN organizer.

When asked for his support, Mayor Hogsett told the crowd,"Let our answer be that as a city we are committed with all stake holders to ensure that not one dime of city resources fund anything that a court has determined to be discriminatory or unconstitutional."

Hogsett also told those gathered that someday their children and grandchildren would ask what it was like to have lived now and what they did about it.

"Let our answers be that we did all we could to protect those most in need," said Mayor Hogsett.

Juan Garcia is certainly hoping other lawmakers share the Mayor's answer, both for Garcia's family's sake and others who could face deportation.

"It's being in constant fear," Garcia explained.

It's a risk he said he accepted 14 years ago though, when he came here to try and give his family a better life.

"We work every day and our kids they are in the public school and we pay taxes," said Garcia.