WEST VALLEY CITY – About 50 people celebrated Pioneer Day by demonstrating outside the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement field office in West Valley City. They called for an end to the detentions of migrants and recent raids against illegal immigrants in the United States.
Many people who organized Wednesday’s protest on Decker Lake Drive, which stretched overnight into Thursday morning, are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and say the struggles of current immigrants mirror those of the pioneers who entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
“As Latter-day Saints, as followers of [Jesus] Christ, as religious people, it’s important that we show compassion and show charity towards those that are needing our help,” said Laurel Peacock from Orem.
State Representative Angela Romero (D-Salt Lake City) agreed with and spoke to the protesters.
“People came here in 1847 to pursue a better life for them and their families because of political and religious persecution. Many of the people we see coming over here today are coming because of political persecution and because of the things happening in their home country,” Romero said.
About half the protesters stayed outside the office overnight to show support to those who have immigration court hearings on Thursday, holding signs that read things like, “Close the Camps”.
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