2,000 attend “United We Stand” forum in wake of Trump's executive orders

Photo: WKOW

MADISON (WKOW) --- In the wake of multiple executive orders on immigration, more than 1,000 people showed up Sunday at Monona Terrace in Madison for the “United We Stand” forum.

Luis Varela was one of the people who attended the forum looking for answer. He has been in the United States for 14 years.

The immigrant from Colombia has a permanent green card. But the executive order issued by President Trump late Friday has left him worried the status of himself and his friends.

"These people that I've been here for a while, they will be in trouble."

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin issued a fiery response Sunday to the executive order at a community meeting held to address immigrants fears.

"One, we do not work with immigration authorities, the federal government. We do not go out and pick people up."

The forum was designed to educate Madison immigrants about their constitutional rights and create unity in the face of threats against immigrants by the trump administration.

"We are not going to be an agent of immigration authority under these circumstances. And we are not going to take the initiative of forwarding any information or any individual to ICE,” Soglin said.

Jeff Burkhart was there to support his friends who may be facing deportation.

"Our mayor was very strong against the order. He had a lot of really positive things to say. And really encouraging for the entire community."

Burkhart said the community must come together and stand up against the executive order.

"This type of action is way out of step with our values as a community."

"Stand up and use any means necessary. Keep the mentality of union. If you get hurt I'll stand for you," Varela said.

If you missed Sunday's meeting, a second forum is scheduled for February 21 at the downtown Madison Public Library.

For more on this story: http://www.wkow.com/story/34375039/2017/01/29/more-than-1000-attend-united-we-stand-forum-in-the-wake-of-trumps-executive-orders

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