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South Florida Kids Head To D.C. To Protest Trump’s Immigration Policies

It’s spring break and for some kids that means going to the beach or visiting family, but for 40 children and teenagers from South Florida it means delivering an important message to President Donald Trump.

The trip to the White House started outside the office of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez Monday with a protest against the mayor’s compliance with President Trump's immigration policies.

“We are not afraid of Trump, like our mayor and commissioners. We are courageous, we value our families and community more than money,” said 17-year-old Elena, who did not give her last name and whose father was deported for driving without a license five years ago.

Elena and other community members are traveling on a bus to D.C. to join other immigrant advocacy groups outside the White House on Thursday.

Credit Priscila Serrano / WLRN
Kids from the We Belong Together caravan before heading to D.C. to protest against President Trump's immigration policies.

The group of children and teenagers who are part of the We Belong Together campaign hopes to deliver its message to Trump since, they said, Gimenez has “turned their back on them.”

“Our mayor gave in to Trump’s threat and agreed to turn [in] our families to ICE,” said Elena.

Earlier this year, following a threat from Trump to cut federal funds to those who protect illegal immigrants, Gimenez instructed county jails to comply with federal immigration laws.

Though data from the Department of Homeland Security show a record number of deportations  took place under the Obama administration, Trump’s 10-point immigration plan intends to triple the number of ICE agents.

“This caravan is about how us youth are going to stand up to President Trump's bullying and how we are going to fight for our friends and families,” said Jasmine, a 10-year old youth leader who also didn’t provide her last name.

The kids' caravan will stop in Atlanta and Raleigh, N.C., before arriving at the capital to meet supporters from other states such as New York, Maryland and Colorado.