Thousands of demonstrators, baking in the heat and boiling mad against USA immigration policy, marched across the country Saturday to protest the separation of families under President Donald Trump's hardline policy.
Scores of organizations are supporting Saturday's mass mobilizations, spearheaded by the liberal group MoveOn.org, and contesting the administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy that has led to the detentions of thousands crossing the United States border, including those planning to file claims of asylum.
The rally will cap off a week of demonstrations in Washington that included the arrests of 575 people Thursday at the Hart Senate Office Building during a women-led protest and another outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters, in which dozens called for the organization's dissolution. "I told them we're speaking up for the kids who need our help", referring to the immigrant children who had been separated from their families.
Having spent 13 years in the military and visiting other nations, he said he feels sorry about how other countries treat their people but added, "We can't be the world's babysitter".
Thousands dressed in white and gathered early Saturday morning in sweltering 90-degree heat in Lafayette Park across from the White House in what was expected to be the largest of the day's protests. She said she was anxious about the children taken from their families, and their parents left without knowing how to find them.
"We're children of immigrants", she said.
There, too, protesters gathered on his motorcade route, many of them with signs about immigration policy. "Keep marching." In addition, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have called for ICE to be abolished.
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Though many at the rallies were seasoned anti-Trump demonstrators, others were new to activism, including parents who said they felt compelled to act after heart-wrenching accounts of families torn apart.
In response to a federal court order, the Trump administration announced a new policy with regard to migrant families on Friday.
All across the country, groups came together in city parks and downtown squares, and photos quickly started ricocheting around social media.
"I met with all 174 of the women that were there and it was absolutely heartbreaking to hear their stories, to hear about how their children had been taken away".
"I decided that I, too, would sit down with them and submit to arrest", Jayapal said.
"Those children that they are incarcerating and separating, they are our future generations". "We just kept hearing over and over again, if it was my child, I would want someone to do something".
Much of the uproar over the separation policy came after news organisations reported children being held in cells, converted warehouses and desert tents around the country.
"Jesus was a refuge", she said.