UCF students took part in a protest in front of Orlando City Hall Saturday, calling for families separated at the border to be reunited. A large crowd braved the rain, carrying signs and chanting slogans against family separation.
This was one of hundreds of “Families Belong Together” rallies around the country, arranged in response to President Trump’s policy that separated immigrant children from their parents at the US/Mexican border. Protesters chanted “no more cages,” in reference to pictures of children held in cages at a border holding facility.
UCF DACA student Karen Caudillo was one of the organizers of the event. She was named one of Glamour Magazine’s College Women of the Year for her advocacy work. Caudillo led the students in chanting “I believe that we will win,” at the end of the event.
Anna Eskamani, a UCF alumna and doctoral student also participated in the protest.
“As a daughter of immigrants, it’s critical for me that we don’t allow the Trump administration to divide us… the notion of separating families, especially asylum seekers, is both inappropriate and un-American,” Eskamani said.
Eskamani is running as a Democrat for Florida House district 47, which includes downtown Orlando. She has two undergraduate degrees in political science and women’s studies from UCF and two master’s degrees in nonprofit management and public administration. She is working on her doctorate in public affairs. She explained why she wanted to be a part of the rally in Orlando.
“We come here today to demonstrate our solidarity as individuals and as a campaign to make sure that people in Orlando know that we support immigrant communities and that we are going to fight alongside with them,” Eskamani said.