Several hundred people gathered at a rally in Des Moines Monday night advocating for Iowa to offer refuge to thousands of children from Central America entering the country illegally at the southern border.
Wendy Vasquez of Des Moines was at the rally and plans to travel with nine other Iowans to Washington, D.C. later this month to protest the children’s detention and deportation. “Think about your own children. What if your children had no food, no future? Think about your children and what you would do for them. If it were them, would you welcome them in your country? Yes, you would,” She says.
Governor Terry Branstad said last week he has empathy for the children, but said they should not come to Iowa because they had entered the country illegally. The Democratic candidate for Governor, Jack Hatch, said it’s time to form a non-partisan “Iowa Coalition of Mercy” to discuss how the state can respond to the “humanitarian crisis” of unaccompanied kids from Central America who’re walking into the U.S.
The U.S. government estimates up to 90,000 unaccompanied children will enter U.S. this year.