Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump Admin Argues It Can Detain Migrant Families Longer Than 20 Days

Trump Admin Argues It Can Detain Migrant Families Longer Than 20 Days

People participate in the "End Family Separation NYC" rally at downtown Manhattan in NY, the United States, on June 30, 2018.

Americans young and old took to the streets of U.S. cities Saturday to say "Families Belong Together" almost two months after the Trump administration implemented its "zero tolerance" policy toward undocumented immigrants, prompting the separation of thousands of children from their parents.

Thousands of demonstrators marched across the country on Saturday to protest the separation of families under President Donald Trump's hard-line policy.

The "Families Belong Together - Freedom for Immigrants March" was among more than 700 protests held nationwide Saturday.

"(The) family separation crisis is not over. Jayapal, who was born in India, tweeted a video of herself in which she said she was proud to be arrested to protest Trump's zero-tolerance policy.

Larger protests are being planned for Saturday in Washington, D.C., and cities around the country under the banner of #FamiliesBelongTogether.

They chanted "We care", "keep families together" and other slogans slamming U.S. President Donald Trump's tough immigration policy.

They were joined and supported by a number of prominent figures, such as the actress Susan Sarandon and multiple Democratic Senators, including Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth and others. "I don't understand why this administration won't support mothers who just want a better life for their children". This is not about politics. "So I beg everyone, please release these children, give my son back to me", she said through an interpreter and wept.

On June 20, Trump signed an executive order created to stop family separations after a surge of public outcry.

On the West coast, similar rallies took place across big cities and small towns, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area.

At the border, they protested what speakers described as unconstitutional overreach by the Trump administration and heavy-handed tactics by immigration agents.


Winnie Wong, a political adviser for the liberal National Women's March, predicted the protest would translate into "the energy we will need to see to at the ballot box in November".

The marchers included open-border advocates as well as conservatives who say families should not be separated.

The protesters, mostly women dressed in white, sat on the Hart Senate Office Building's marbled floors and wrapped themselves in metallic silver blankets similar to those given to migrant children separated from their families by U.S. immigration officials. They gathered on the front lawn of a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, near a detention center where migrant children were being held in cages, and on a street corner near Trump's golf resort at Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president is spending the weekend.

"It feels great, it shows the strength and the core of what this country is all about", Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told Xinhua.

"Occupy ICE" camps have been set up in several USA states.

"Parents do not know what is happening with their children, and they are housed in unhealthy areas, in cages like dogs", said protester Jose Luis Castillo.

Many wore foil blankets similar to those given to migrants housed at USA detention facilities.

They are reports, around 2,000 children still remain separated from their parents after a judge ordered the families be reunited within 30 days, last week.

While Trump recently ended the separation practice that split up families, thousands of children have yet to be reunited with their parents. "This administration is putting (immigrant) families in danger".

Immigration attorney Linda Rivas said groups have met with US authorities, congressional representatives and other leaders to discuss an escalating immigration crackdown that they say began decades ago.

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