More than 300 gather to show support for immigrant detainees held at federal prison in SeaTac

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NORMANDY PARK, Wash. --  An interfaith service in Normandy Park on Monday night brought together more than 300 people from all backgrounds to show solidarity and support for more than 200 immigrant detainees being held at the federal prison in SeaTac.

“We just believe in supporting things like this. Because it’s crazy. You can’t do this to families,” said Davney Stahley.

She says she gets emotional when she thinks of the children who have been ripped away from the parents, many of whom are seeking asylum in the U.S.

“There’s a lot of emotion. I’m very angry, very angry,” said Stahley, who added that immigration for her is personal.

“My grandparents are immigrants. These people have every right to live without being abused, without being in war, without being raped or terrorized. We are human beings, not animals,” said Stahley.

The national outrage over children being separated from their parents at the border is what Michael Ramos, the executive director of the Church Council of Seattle, says is raising angst among local communities.

“Maybe this will be a turning point so people will understand people are fleeing oppression, fleeing violence, they are not fleeing their home countries not because they want to but because they have to,” said Ramos.

Speakers here urged the congregation to use their voices to make a difference.

“We need to dismantle, disrupt and confront the immoral narrative that says we can care about our own well-being and not our neighbors,” said one speaker.

Stahley says she may not know exactly what action to take to make a difference, but she believes in the power of coming together.

“We can make a difference, that activism does help,” said Stahley.

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