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Protestors in Naples rally for immigration reform

Posted at 10:47 PM, Jun 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-01 06:43:22-04

More than 300 people gathered outside the Collier County Courthouse Saturday, to protest the immigration policy enforced by the current administration. Spiritual and religious leaders, community organizers and people passionate about the cause braved the early morning heat. 

One of the speakers was Yulie Barbeda. Like some other speakers, she hoped to use her own narrative of navigating the U.S. immigration system to help people empathize with the countless others affected. 

“What I really wanted to get across is...what my family has gone through and why I feel this is so close to me”, she said.  

Barbeda told the crowded about how her mother left her and her siblings when she was young. It was four years before they were reunited. Barbeda told Four in Your Corner, that was the reason why she felt so passionately about what was happening to others. 

“These people are already through the fabric of our nation and we must accept that.”

The rally came together quickly after organizers saw the images of events at the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The recent presence of law enforcement in Immokalee set the tone for many of the speeches. 

"This is empowering for a lot of people that are just learning to raise their voices in opposition", Ellen Hemrick told Fox 4. 

Hemrick helped partner with other organizations in the area to bring the rally together. She's hoping the rallies happening in Naples, and across the country will lead to real change.