Watch 12-Year-Old Deliver Emotional Speech at Immigration Rally: “I Live With Constant Fear”

Watch 12-Year-Old Deliver Emotional Speech at Immigration Rally: “I Live With Constant Fear”

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Originally published by Slate

During the Families Belong Together protest in Washington, D.C. Saturday it was up to a child to really bring home the cruelty of separating kids from their parents. In one of the most emotional speeches of the day, 12-year-old Leah managed to jerk tears from the audience with a powerful plea in which she spoke of her “constant fear” of her mom being deported. “ICE wants to take away my mom from me. I don’t like to live with this fear,” she said in the less than five-minute speech that is bound to become an iconic moment of the rally. “It’s scary. I can’t sleep, I can’t study, I am stressed. I am afraid that they will take my mom away while she is at work, out driving or at home. I don’t understand why this administration won’t support mothers who just want a better life for their children. This needs to change!”

Leah called it “evil” for the government to separate children from their parents, whether it’s at the border or when someone who has been living in the country for years is suddenly deported. “I am here today because the government is separating and detaining refugee parents and children at the border who are looking for safety. Our government also continues to separate US citizen children like me from their parents every day. This is evil. It needs to stop,” she said.

As she held back tears, Leah said she doesn’t “understand why they’re being so mean to us children. Don’t they know how much we love our families? Don’t they have a family too? Why don’t they care for us children?” At that point someone in the crowd yelled out: “We love you.” Leah replied: “I love you more.”

Throughout her speech, Leah didn’t mince words about how her fear prevents her from going about her life like a normal child. “Why do they hurt us like this?” she asked. “It is unfair that they got to spend time with their families today while there are children in detention centers and in cages all alone missing their parents who are thrown in jail.” At that point the crowd started chanting out: “Shame! Shame!”

As she held back tears, Leah said she doesn’t “understand why they’re being so mean to us children. Don’t they know how much we love our families? Don’t they have a family too? Why don’t they care for us children?” At that point someone in the crowd yelled out: “We love you.” Leah replied: “I love you more.”

Throughout her speech, Leah didn’t mince words about how her fear prevents her from going about her life like a normal child. “Why do they hurt us like this?” she asked. “It is unfair that they got to spend time with their families today while there are children in detention centers and in cages all alone missing their parents who are thrown in jail.” At that point the crowd started chanting out: “Shame! Shame!”

Read more:https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/families-belong-together-watch-12-year-old-leah-deliver-emotional-speach.html

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