Illinois Responds To Family Separation Policy; 11-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Gavin Waterman

June 21, 2018

A group of immigrants from Honduras and Guatemala seeking asylum arrive at the bus station after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end family separations at the border

Eric Gay/AP

On the 21st: Illinois responds to the last few days of news regarding President Trump's family separation policy. Plus, an 11-year old cancer survivor shares his story.

Yesterday, President Trump issued an executive order that may end the continued separation of children and families, and indefinitely detains parents and children together at the border.

Many are calling this the President’s answer to what has been a political firestorm, with Democrats and Republicans criticizing his administration’s policy. Of course, images and sounds from the border quickly made their way through the news and social media.

So, what is certainly a political crisis, is also a humanitarian one. It remains to be seen how the courts will respond. Today—we’re talking about how Illinois is responding.

Mark Maxwell from WCIA in Springfield and Joe Bustos from the Belleville News-Democrat were with us today to discuss this issue. Chicago-based immigration attorney Shannon Shepherd and Fred Tsao from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights joined us shortly after. Sara Dorner joined us later, one of the organizers of the Rockford Children’s March, along with Tina Wilson, a rally organizer in St. Charles.

Plus—

With June being National Cancer Survivor Month, we wanted to end today’s program with the story of 11-year-old Gavin Waterman.

Five years ago, Gavin was just six-year-old when he was first diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. It’s a rare cancer - for both children and adults - just about 200 children people are diagnosed Ewing sarcoma each year in the United States.

Gavin, who’s now been cancer free for five years, and his parents, Nikki and Jacob Waterman joined us in our Urbana studio to share their story.