U.S. government intends to 'detain families together'

01 July, 2018, 00:03 | Author: Sheila Harris

She and others are undaunted after almost 600 women wearing white and railing against the now-abandoned separation policy were arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C. With demonstrations emerging nationwide, immigrant advocacy groups say they're thrilled - and surprised - to see the issue gaining traction among those not tied to immigration.

The "Families Belong Togher" rally, one of hundreds scheduled across the nation, was to protest the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" border policy. President Donald Trump partially addressed the issue of family separation in an executive order signed June 20, but the problem is far from solved.

After federal Judge Dana Sabraw granted the preliminary injunction ordering that migrant children separated from their parents be returned to their families within 30 days - 14 days for children under 5 - the number of people signing up to participate in the protest increased, organizers said.

The Los Angeles march will be the second major demonstration focused on the Trump administration's immigration policy to be held within a week downtown, following a series of protests and rallies that occurred Tuesday when Attorney General Jeff Sessions came to town for a speech.

The marches in New Jersey are among more than 700 rallies happening across the country, including a main protest near the White House in Washington, D.C. People are also marching in New York City and plan to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

They ended up at a Senate office building, where they sat on the floor with emergency blankets, like the ones some immigrants have been given at detention centers after crossing the U.S. border. Demonstrators in white clergy robes linked arms across the street and chanted "reunite", others waving signs that bore slogans, among them, "Stop separating families".

Saturday's protests follow a demonstration on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C this week that saw more than 600 protestors - including a Democratic congresswoman - arrested.

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She said the threat of deportation isn't just at the border.

The mood was similar in NY, where Julia Lam, 58, joined the protest with two friends and their young children in strollers. "It's been motivating for us as advocates because we have to keep going".

More than 2,000 children who arrived illegally in the United States with adult relatives were separated from them and placed in detention facilities or with foster families around the United States. "ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), do your job ..."

In all, Capitol police arrested at least 575 women for the misdemeanor offense of unlawfully demonstrating in the Capitol.

"Women are outraged at the separation of families", said Linda Sarsour, one of last year's Women's March organizers. "I just don't see how a human being would do such a thing".

"I'm a mom, and I think everyone I know that I've talked to about this issue has had a very visceral reaction", Sharaf said.


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