Knoxville church hosts service to discuss president’s immigration order

Courtesy of AP Graphics

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – With their hands clasped together and heads bowed in prayer, a group of people from all faiths and cultures formed a “circle of welcome” at the Saint James Episcopal Church in Knoxville.

“We simply can’t comply with what President Trump is laying down. We can’t do that as we understand it and remain Christians,” said David Linge with Saint James Episcopal Church.

The room full of people came together to talk about their growing fears and concerns dealing with President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.

“We’re in an emergency,” said Linge. “We have a president who told us all through the campaign that he was going to banish people from this country.”

Maria Francisco is a DACA student, or deferred action for childhood arrivals. DACA is a policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants to receive a two year work permit.

She says this executive order terrifies her.

“I don’t feel safe at the moment because he could take the program away at any time and it won’t just affect me. It will affect thousands of others out there,” said Francisco.

She says America has been for home for almost as long as she can remember.

“I’ve basically attended school since kindergarten and we would always say the Pledge of Allegiance and that gets me thinking, where is the unity in that?” said Francisco.

She says wants others in her situation to know they are not alone.

“I know how you guys feel but that does not mean we have to give up,” said Francisco. “That means we have to fight harder and show that we are here to reach an American dream just like everybody else.”

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