• Kate L

TUWDC at the March for Family Unity

Jul 30, 2018

My name is Carlos Castillo.

I’m originally from Peru and I’ve been living in Washington, D.C. for 8 years.

I am a day laborer who has to persevere day after day in order to support myself and provide an adequate life for my family in this city.

I am very aware of all the difficulties that many migrant families face who don’t have secure employment due to lack of legal status. There’s wage theft, discrimination, harassment from immigration authorities, lack of health services, and a number of other problems that immigrant families in Washington, D.C. must confront that threaten their unity. In addition to Latino families, these issues also face families from Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa, and other parts of the world.

Additionally, there are constant attacks against families of color who were born here and against other races who have been in this country for generations. They live in neighborhoods that are completely forgotten by D.C. resources and agencies. They are often excluded from many services, including access to quality education for the next generation and healthy food. For example, in the Southeast of Washington, it is easier to find liquor stores on each block than to find places with fresh food options. On top of all of this, there is criminalization of this very poverty, which results in a high percentage of relatives (mothers, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, children) spending large portions of their lives incarcerated, denying them the right to live with their family.

On Saturday, the 26th of May, we marched to support and maintain the unity of our families in Washington, D.C. We gathered at the Columbia Heights Park in Northwest Washington, with our signs and banners. It was a blistering hot day, but we marched down 14thStreet and 16thStreets to Lafayette Park, in front of the White House. We rallied and urged the participants to fight for immigrant rights and family unification. Several musical groups performed, and D.C. community leaders made speeches. Many local immigrant groups participated: CARECEN, AYUDA, Mary’s Center, Clinica del Pueblo, The TPS Alliance, and Latin American Youth Center. We all are united in working to improve the lives of DC immigrants. We encourage everybody to express their views against mistreatment.

The unity of our families, of migrant families, low-income families, and families of color is in danger, now more than ever. The rise in the introduction of immigration laws and the criminalization of aspects of daily life for families of color is resulting in the breakdown of these families, and of the lives of the people within them. I can continue identifying difficulties that affect families but I believe now is the time to say: ENOUGH.

Enough of this harassment. Enough of this abuse.

Thank you,

Carlos Castillo, President TUWDC

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