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My family and I attended the Families Belong Together rally in Helena. I have two degrees in theatre and am not shy about speaking out in a crowd. Normally when I attend rallies or protests, I dive right in to the chants and the call and response and am happy to lend a strong voice. This time I did not feel strong. When asked to repeat the words "Families Belong Together and Free," I choked back tears and tried not to let my 2-year-old see me crying because I didn't want to scare her. There was a man in his 80s sitting in the shade behind me, in tears as the crowd listened to immigrants tell their stories. Indefinite detention is not a solution. Asylum seekers are not criminals. Toddlers should not be in court. Create a path for immigrants to enter, pass a clean Dream Act, and do not fund the building of immigrant detention centers. Families Belong Together and Free.

Retta Leaphart


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