Protest in Grand Rapids over tear gas at border

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of West Michigan residents rallied in Grand Rapids Thursday night for immigration reform, protesting U.S. Border Patrol agents' use of tear gas at the Mexico border.

Immigration advocacy group Movimiento Cosecha GR was one of the groups leading the event. It began inside the Grand Valley State University Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences building on Michigan Street NE, with concerned people voicing concerns.

After about 30 minutes of discussion, the small group headed out to march to three U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in the city.

Karla Barberi, a volunteer with Movimiento Cosecha GR, told 24 Hour News 8 that the marches were equally about urging Kent County officials to break ties with ICE as much as it was about displaying support for those trying to make the United States their new home.

"We want our community to be that shelter, to be that safe haven for immigrants," Barberi said.

She explained how hurt she was when she learned border patrol agents hurled tear gas near Tijuana, Mexico last Sunday. Hundreds of asylum-seekers nearly overwhelmed that part of the border beforehand, according to U.S. officials. The asylum-seekers included women and children.

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