Indy Protesters Join National Demonstration Against Migrant Detention Camps

Jul 2, 2019

Several dozen protesters gathered outside of U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.)’s office in Indianapolis Tuesday to protest the conditions in migrant detention camps. It’s part of a larger nationwide demonstration.

Protesters left comments at the senator's office opposing the camps and asked him to stop family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. They say they were told by office staff that Young was not in Indiana.

Cindy Cervantes-Closser brought her daughter Elena to the protest.

She says the image of the drowned Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Angie Valeria in the Rio Grande hit home for her. Her brother-in-law is from Guatemala. 

“Watching a baby and her father drown coming over here–I don’t know how anyone can think that–it’s OK. It’s OK. I don’t, I don’t understand it,” Cervantes-Closser says.

She says the conversation about these camps should focus on the people.

“These people didn’t come here to do bad things to you. These people came here for a better life, just like everybody else here in the United States,” Cervantes-Closser says.

At its peak, the demonstration in Indianapolis involved more than 50 people gathered on the sidewalk. Organizer Chris Smallidge, with Action Indivisible, says the turn out should send a message to Indiana’s federal delegation.

“You know, I hope that the senators and representatives see it that way: that this is indicative of the sentiments of Hoosiers in general,” Smallidge says. 

Indianapolis was one of more than 180 protests across the county organized by the left-wing group Move On.