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In Lebanon, Candlelight Vigil Held to Support Detained Immigrants

Four posters covered the columns of the church. They read “Estamos contigo Miguel. Estamos Contigo Gregorio. Estamos Contigo Facundo. Si se puede.”

These three men were among the more than 30 people detained in the Upper Valley in the past two months. "We are with you. Yes we can." The signs said.

Credit Daniela Allee / NHPR
Yolanda Huerta addresses a crowd of about 60 people in Lebanon on Monday night. Huerta helped organize the vigil, to call attention to recent arrests made by federal immigration officials.

About 60 people gathered in front of the First Congregational Church in Lebanon on Monday night to call attention to people detained by federal immigration authorities in the Upper Valley.

Asma Elhuni, an immigration organizer, shared their stories.

Miguel overstayed his sports visa. His sister applied for him to stay, but as part of that process, he would have to go back to Honduras.

“And he could not leave the United States of America because," she says, "his brother was killed in Honduras by gang members.”

Gregorio and Facundo came to New Hampshire for work.

Organizers will send the posters to the men to show their support.  All three are being held at the detention center at the Strafford County jail in Dover. 

Yolanda Huerta helped organize the vigil. She says the goal is to inform the community what is transpiring. 

"Stop being on the fence," she said. "It's time to make a decision. It's wrong for this stuff to be happening."

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.

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