Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Wave of protests in United States over separation of migrant children

Wave of protests in United States over separation of migrant children

More than 700 marches on Saturday drew hundreds of thousands of people across the country, from immigrant-friendly cities like Los Angeles and New York City to conservative Appalachia and Wyoming under the banner Families Belong Together.

The original zero-tolerance policy by the Trump administration required authorities to arrest and detain anyone crossing the Mexico-US border illegally.

Faced with a barrage of criticism both at home and overseas, Mr Trump last week signed an executive order to halt the family separation practice, but made no specific provisions for those already split apart.

Almost 600 women dressed in white and seated on the floor of the Hart Senate office building were arrested by Capitol Police on Thursday.

More than 700 marches drew thousands of people across the country, from immigrant-friendly cities like Los Angeles and NY to conservative Appalachia and Wyoming under the banner Families Belong Together.

The marchers gathered across America, moved by accounts of children separated from their parents at the U.S. -Mexico border, in the latest act of mass resistance against Trump's immigration policies.

"Do you know where our children are?" one protester's sign there asked. "No one wants to see children separated from their parents, and no child should be punished for their parent's choice to break the law", Barletta said in a statement.

Click through to see some of the best protest signs from the Families Belong Together march.

Some state representatives say children should not be separated from their parents under such circumstances.

Mothers, fathers, children, and humans on the right side of history are taking to the streets to let their voices be heard - we won't stand for the continued separation of migrant families or the inhumane way they are being caged in unclean detention centers and sweltering shelters.

During Saturday's protests, speakers argued passionately for humane immigration policies and read letters from individuals impacted by the Trump administration's draconian measures.

"I'm outraged that families are being separated", said Margaret Stokes, 54, a Virginia teacher protesting in the nation's capital.

"When people come into our Country illegally, we must IMMEDIATELY excort them back out without going through years of legal maneuvering", the president tweeted.

On Twitter on Saturday, Trump criticized the handful of Democratic politicians who have called for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency known as ICE to be eliminated.

"I'm not a radical, and I'm not an activist", said Kate Sharaf, a Portland co-organiser.

Trump says illegal immigration fosters crime and he implemented a "zero tolerance" policy in May to prosecute all immigrants apprehended for entering illegally.

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