Waco's Immigration Alliance, an open forum presented "Welcoming Communities" on Sunday.
Deshauna Hollie, a member of the Leadership Team for the group, helped put together the event weeks ago. She described the event happening this weekend after President Trump's recent executive orders as, "serendipitous."
For Hollie, and many others, this week was a reminder of why it's important to protect immigrants in the community.
Hope Mustakim spent her weekend protesting at DFW airport, before heading back to Waco to join the evenings discussion. Mustakim first became involved with Waco Immigration Alliance after her family's experience with the system.
"We bought a house in North Waco through Waco CDC every way you could plug into Waco. I was a student at Baylor so yeah we were living the Waco dream."
She said that dream was snapped into reality when immigration agents showed up at her front door.
Mustakim's husband was at risk of losing his green card after 20 years in the country. The long legal battle opened Mustakims eyes to what millions of [immigrants] are going through.
"We started becoming advocates for immigration reform instead of kicking people out instead of making a wall why not make the system functional."
Now a member of Waco Immigration Alliance, Mustakim works with the group to promote advocacy and understanding through education.
Sunday alongside Grassroots Leadership and members of the Austin Sanctuary movement, they met to share ideas on how to make Waco welcome for everyone. "Just feel very strongly about welcoming people in our community making sure that everyone feels safe like they're welcomed- we want everyone to be treated with dignity and respect.," Hollie said.
Mustakim knows that not everyone will agree but says it shouldn't stop the conversation.
"Let's do relationship with people let's get to know their story about their family whenever we have a face and a name to attach they are not just issues anymore they are real people."
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