Protesters march against Trump's immigration policy
Protesters march against Trump's immigration policy
01 July, 2018, 16:44
Seated around Alexander Calder's black metallic "Mountain and Clouds" sculpture, they shouted slogans and cheered for a handful of fist-pumping lawmakers - all Democrats - who waded into the crowd.
Almost 600 protesters were arrested during a clangorous occupation of a US Senate office building in Washington on Thursday, where they decried US President Donald Trump's "zero- tolerance" stance on illegal immigration.
The "Families Belong Together - Freedom for Immigrants March" was among more than 700 protests held nationwide Saturday.
Reuters reported that the women protesters, clad in white, occupied the floor of the Hart Senate building and wrapped themselves in foil blankets, a reference to the conditions of migrant children sleeping in detention centers.
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Others carried signs that included the messages: "Keep the kids, deport the racists" and "Break walls, build families".
Trump has backed away from the family separation policy amid bipartisan and global uproar, and those marching Saturday demanded the government quickly reunite the families that were already divided.
Organizers in the Families Belong Together Coalition included the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the ACLU, Leadership Conference and MoveOn.org.
In New York City, thousands began chanting "shame!" and singing "shut detention down!" before their planned march across the Brooklyn Bridge. "We just kept hearing over and over again, if it was my child, I would want someone to do something".
I mean how would you feel if your family was torn apart here in the U.S.?
Anushur Berger, 8, from Washington, applauds speakers as activists protest the Trump administration's approach to illegal border crossings and separation of children from immigrant parents in Lafayette Square across from the White House, Saturday, June 30, 2018, in Washington.
A number of celebrities have also expressed their support, including actresses Julianne Moore, America Ferrara and Natalie Portman, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hit musical Hamilton. "Seeing everyone together for this cause, it's emotional". Her jacket had "I really don't care". Trump has decried that so-called catch-and-release policy, and vowed to detain immigration violators.
The protesters blasted family separations at the border brought on by President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting anyone crossing the southern border illegally.
Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to show his support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement amid calls from some Democrats for major changes to immigration enforcement. Tweeting from New Jersey on Saturday, Trump urged ICE agents to "not worry or lose your spirit". "Next it will be all police".
More than 628 rallies are planned with some states holding multiple demonstrations.
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Meanwhile, illegal immigrants are just crossing the border and receiving public benefits. "It's abhorrent (and) evil", Crook said. As the Washington Post has pointed out , it's possible that the judge who now oversees the Flores agreement , Dolly M.
Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) stood alongside protesters and pumped their fists amid chants of "What do we want?"
"To finally have people on board wanting to take action, marching, taking to the streets", Rivas said.
While Trump recently ended the separation practice that split up families, thousands of children have yet to be reunited with their parents.
"It hit me in the heart. I'm on about a half hour already", one person said. "We're also Hispanic Americans, we were born here, our parents came here", she explained. "We have to speak out now while we can, before we can't".
Barry Hooper of San Francisco told the Associated Press he attended the protest with his wife and two daughters to "let the president know that this is not acceptable". As of the time of this report, protests seem to have remained largely peaceful and no major law enforcement clashes have been reported.
Margarita Perez held up a Mexican flag as speakers addressed the crowd in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"Those children that they are incarcerating and separating, they are our future generations".
Galland said she and US Rep. Pramila Jayapal put out a call for protests less than two weeks ago, and they were "overwhelmed" by the response.
Immigration attorney Linda Rivas said groups have met with USA authorities, congressional representatives, and other leaders to discuss an escalating immigration crackdown that they say began decades ago.
"We were ready to be arrested", she said.
Millicent Bennet carried her 5-year-old son, Grover, on her shoulders.
"I beg you all", she said.
In Washington, protesters ended their march at the white-columned Department of Justice.
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It also isn't clear if families who are kept together will remain so or be separated after 20 days due to an existing court order. Protesters were due to march on the Justice Department later, in one of scores of immigration demonstrations around the country.
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