A local advocacy group will hold a candlelight vigil downtown Friday night to raise awareness of about the detention camps along the U.S.-Mexico border where people from Central America are trying to enter the country.

The vigil will be held at Pioneer Park, Center and B streets, at 9 p.m. Friday, said Jane Ifland of Indivisible Casper. "The idea is bring a light, bring a candle, bring a flashlight," she said.

"We're wanting to be part of a national effort," Ifland said.

The concern about families being separated, children being held in cages, and children caring for babies cuts across across the political spectrum, she said.

"This is not how we understand ourselves as Americans," Ifland said.

Children can suffer trauma from something as common as divorce, and the trauma these children are enduring is far worse, she added.

The Rev. Dee Lundberg of the United Church of Christ in Casper said if people saw animals kept like many of these children, they would be appalled.

"These aren't animals," Lundberg said. "These are human beings; these are children. These are mothers and grandmothers."

The legal status of those held in the detention centers is not the point, Ifland said. "You do not get to walk away from your humanity."

The Indivisible Casper movement arose from the women's march on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated.

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