LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More than 100 people crowded around the steps of the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville on Friday night to stand up for those in detention centers along the southern U.S. border.
Dozens of people held signs referencing the conditions of the detention centers.
“Because we are people of faith, we must say this is simply not acceptable,” Cynthia Campbell, Pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church, told the crowd.
The Archdiocese of Louisville held the vigil Friday night to “stand in solidarity with those who are being detained in inhumane conditions along the southern border.”
“We just felt it was essential for us as a community of faith to speak up and make our voices heard and say this is outrageous,” Lisa DeJaco Crutcher, Executive Director for Catholic Charities of Louisville, said. “This will not be done in our name without our voices being heard to say, ‘We don’t believe. Don’t do this on our behalf.’”
Rebecca Minnick was one of more than one hundred people listening to different speakers talk about the importance of speaking up.
“I feel like a little hopeless in this situation,” Minnick said. “I don’t know how much we accomplish at vigils but it felt like one small thing I can do.”
Crutcher said that was the goal of holding the vigil: opening a space for people to express their feelings about the immigrant detention centers.
Immigration activist Jesús Ibáñez works with immigrants in the area. He said emotions are very high.
“These individuals are fleeing traumatic experiences. War zones and the emotions are very high. People don't know what to do. They thought it was guarantee getting to the United States to seek that refuge,” Ibañez said. “It’s just desperation.”
Ibañez wasn’t able to make it to the vigil but said he’s grateful for the community’s support.
“The immigration issue is a local issue as well,” Ibañez said. “So I think it’s always great light is being brought to this issue, but we can’t just stop at vigils obviously. That’s just a first step of many, many steps to liberate our people.”
The vigil was part of Catholic Charities of Louisville’s “Be Golden” Campaign, which highlights the importance of treating all people with respect and empathy, with a focus on immigrants.