SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — On Friday, across the country, vigils were held for families and children held in captivity at the southern border.
Hays County and San Marcos are no different.
At the steps of the Hays County Courthouse, dozens gathered with signs, paintings, and other messages pleading for an end to the zero-tolerance policy of separating kids from families who immigrated to the United States.
One of the leaders of the vigil, Rev. Tom Bauerkemper of First Lutheran Church in San Marcos, says, “My faith calls me to care for my neighbor and have empathy for those who have experienced trauma and my faith calls me to call my government to have a just response to those individuals.
“Whenever people are involved it is political, whenever lives are involved and power over lives are involved, it is political. But more than that, it is a justice issue,” added the Reverend.
The vigil was organized by Mano Amiga, an immigrant advocacy group based in Hays County.
“It is not something that I think a Christian or religious response should be normative for our system of laws but it should be something for people of faith guides our personal deliberation on this,” stated Bauerkemper.
Echoing the sentiment of government failure, State Representative for this part of Texas (Dist. 45), Erin Zwiener told KXAN:
“The biggest challenge we are facing right now is the Trump Administration broke faith with the American People and so we have to remain vigilant anywhere they are keeping children, or really any migrants to make sure that basic standards of human decency are present on site.”
The controversial issue of keeping undocumented immigrants at the border in camps was compounded by a visit from Vice President Mike Pence to the Rio Grande Valley.
Bauerkemper added that fatigue of the headlines can be real, but offers this:
“It’s even more hopeless for those who are stuck in the system and who need those of us in the faith community and in the power structure to stand up to them on their behalf.”