Protesters gather outside City Hall to criticize the alleged conditions of the migrant detention centers at the southern border. Ryan Mancini/The Signal

Protesters rally against migrant detention centers

As part of a nationwide orchestrated demonstration, a few dozen Santa Clarita Valley residents rallied outside City Hall on Friday to protest against housing conditions for migrants in detention centers along the U.S./Mexico border. 

The vigil was part of the nationwide demonstration under the name “Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps.” For organizer Kelly Franti, she decided to hold a vigil – with signs of protest instead of candles – and post an event on Facebook visible to residents across SCV. 

“When you read about all the deplorable conditions that these kids are living in – this is generational damage that’s being caused,” she said. “This is going to echo for the rest of their lives and everybody they come in contact with is going to be affected by what happened to them at our hands. I don’t recognize this as America.”

A counter-protester stands on a road divider, waving “Make America Great Again” flag along Valencia Boulevard. Ryan Mancini/The Signal

Cars that drove by honked their support for the several dozen protestors and the smaller group of counter-protestors. Some drivers hurled expletives at both crowds outside City Hall. Counter-protesters shouted, “Build that wall, nice and tall.”

“We’re here to support border security, we support President (Donald) Trump, we support (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the border patrol and enforcing our immigration laws,” said counter-protester Greg Aprahamian. “That’s one of the main things we’re here. The second thing is, we’re here to stand up against the lies that they’re spreading.”

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