FERNDALE, Wash. — A couple hundred people gathered in front of the US Customs and Border Protection Ferndale Border Patrol station Friday night as part of an international vigil to call attention to the detention and treatment of immigrants by US officials.
Vigils, like the one in Ferndale, which organizers called “Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps,” were scheduled to take place Friday at more than 700 locations throughout the US and several foreign locations, according to organizers.
The vigils occured as immigrants in several American cities were preparing for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, which President Trump announced would take place this weekend.
Ferndale’s vigil included protest songs, poetry readings, a candlelight ceremony and calls for an end to the Trump administration’s immigration policy, which has included separating families at the border and holding them for prolonged periods in detention centers, which various news agencies, lawmakers and the Homeland Security Department’s own acting Inspector General has recently criticized as “seriously overcrowded,” unsanitary and inhumane, leading some critics to call them concentration camps.
“Lights for Liberty” was started by attorneys Elizabeth McLaughlin and Toby Gialluca and sponsors include the Women’s March, the Immigrant Defense Project, the Border Human Rights Network, the American Federation of Teachers and dozens of others, according to its website.