Immigrants disappointed FLOTUS a no-show

Updated: Jun. 28, 2018 at 5:14 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A group of protesters, who waited in 100+ temperatures on Oracle south of Grant Road for the First Lady Melania Trump to show, left disappointed but realized her appearance was a long shot at best.

While the First Lady landed in Tucson about 10 a.m. and left about 90 minutes later, the group was hoping she would visit Southwest Key at 1601 North Oracle Road.

The facility is thought to hold children who have been taken from their parents at the Mexican border. But how many isn't known. The protesters have been gathering at the former hotel for about a week.

There were signs asking the First Lady "We really do care, Why don't you Melania?" in reference the $39 Zara jacket she wore while visiting a holding site in Texas, which, on the back said, "I really don't care. Do U?

One of the protesters, 20-year-old Tanna Cole, a Pima Community College Student, wore a green jacket in the mold of the Zara jackets Melania wore.

On the back it said, in big white letters, "We care."

"I'm not going to yell at her. I'm not going to scream," she said. "I'm just going to turn around."

The First Lady never left Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, visiting the U.S. Border Patrol headquarters at Swan and Golf Links where she met with a rancher and several BP agents.

She then left for Phoenix where she visited a Southwest Key immigration shelter.

Holding a cardboard sign which said "No militarization of Pima County" 67-year-old Amanda Castillo, silently stood in the hot temperatures.

Castillo is an immigrant, brought to the U.S. by her father when she was an infant.

"When my father first came into the country, he was welcomed," she said. "It was World War Two."

He was a "bracero" who was allowed to come to the country to work to fill the labor shortage caused by the war. He stayed and brought his family.

"It took about a year for the family to get here," she said. "It was so different then."

She became a citizen when she graduated from high school at 18.

She raised a family, sent her children to college, worked and retired. Now she is protesting because "I'm afraid we're going to lose our democracy."

And she sheds tears for what has happened to the children and families.

"It's been an incredibly difficult time for me right now to see these babies," she said. "As a human being, you have to look at these babies and shed some tears or you don't have any humanity."

The protesters, whose numbers ebb and flow as the day and the heat progresses, say they will stay until the policy is changed and the children reunited with their families.

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