LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A group of protesters traveled to Lawton from St. Louis Thursday to express their opinions about the possibility of migrant children being housed at Fort Sill.
7NEWS told you last week that Health and Human Services said at this point, it won’t be necessary for the kids to come to Fort Sill because there has been a decrease in the number of people crossing the border. But Fort Sill is still listed as being in warm status meaning if we do see an increase, children could potentially come here in the future.
The protest on Thursday was a little bit different than the ones we've seen over the past few weeks. It was a very peaceful demonstration from the group of just over 100 people who set up shop outside of a Lawton church. There they spent over an hour singing, praying and talking about why they don't think any migrant kids should come to Fort Sill.
Signs in hand, people from all walks of life hopped on the bus in St. Louis so they could let their thoughts be known in Lawton.
"We have 25 organizations that have become part of this coalition. We have churches, we have social service organizations, we have congregations that are all working together to send the message never again, we should not do this to children and families. This is not how we want to be treated. This is the land of immigrants. Every single one of us or someone in our family was an immigrant in this country at some point,” said Ellen Alper with the National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis.
Joining them in Lawton were several Missouri state representatives.
"Taking children, putting them in cages. The government sanctioning the caging of children, innocent children, is something none of us should stand for and that we certainly don’t stand for,” said Representative Ian Mackey of Missouri.
This is the third protest we’ve seen at Fort Sill in the last few weeks. One Oklahoma representative out of Norman who made the trip to Lawton today says he believes those protests are the reason no kids have been brought to Fort Sill as of yet.
"They’re not going to say it’s because of the protests, they’re going to say other things like ‘oh we don’t need them, there’s not that many children coming in’ which is what we’re seeing. But yea it’s because of the protests and it’s not just one group. It’s many, many groups. It’s not just one party, it’s many, many parties. We don’t know how many republicans, democrats and independents are here. I think that’s the important part, it’s a bipartisan push to make sure people understand this is immoral and it needs to stop,” said Representative Jacob Rosecrants of Norman.
After spending about an hour at the church this morning, the group took their signs to Fort Sill’s Sheridan Gate to chant and take pictures in front of the Fort Sill sign before heading back home.