WQAD | Augustana College and World Relief rally for refugees and immigrants

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois – Augustana senior Kamille Brashear is passing out purple ribbons and candles on January 31, 2017.

She’s joining students, faculty and staff to speak out against President Trump’s travel ban.

“I believe that the White House should consider that there is a constitution that we have,” she said.  “They should follow it.”

The college community lights those candles during a vigil to put aside fear.

It’s a time, they say, badly in need of hope and solidarity.

“We’re particularly mindful of immigrants, refugees and people of the Muslim faith,” said Pastor Kristen Glass Perez.

While Augustana students sign a supportive poster, sophomore Jeraldine Hernandez stops to join others to write a personal message.  It’s part of a display to support immigrants and refugees.

“I know there’s a lot going on,” she said.  “But we can’t generalize that all Muslims are terrorists.”

A short distance away in Moline, World Relief, a Christian-based organization that helps refugees, is holding a prayer service.

“Some may feel that the (travel ban) is necessary,” said Pastor Jerry Schrick, Bethany Baptist Church, Moline.  “Some may feel that it’s not.”

For families touched by fear and uncertainty, these are emotional times.

Case worker Mushimata Mwansa knows about the trying times.

“They need comfort,” he said.  “They need relief.  They need support.”

In several languages and denominations, they give thanks for refugees’ endurance, faith and support.

As they put it, praying for their newest neighbors and calling for change.

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