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Protesters Take to Streets Nationwide Over Trump Immigration Policy

The federal Bureau of Prisons Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles. A graffito reading "ICE kills kids!" is scrawled across the building's sign. (Robert Scheer / Truthdig)

NEW YORK—The Latest on nationwide protests over the Trump administration’s policy of detaining and separating immigrant families (all times EDT):

6:45 p.m.

Thousands have marched peacefully in downtown Atlanta as part of a nationwide protest of a U.S. immigration policy that has separated children from their parents.

An estimated 4,000 people braved the heat Saturday to walk roughly a half-mile from the Atlanta City Detention Center to a federal building.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis and others denounced the Trump administration for separating more than 2,000 children from their parents as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration at the Mexican border.

The Atlanta march was one of hundreds nationwide urging the Trump administration to reunite families.

Although President Donald Trump has signed an order ending the policy, children remain in detention centers and apart from their families.

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6:45 p.m.

Thousands of people protested the Trump administration’s family separations in Portland, Oregon, and across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, blasted President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and asked the crowd what score the president would get for his zero tolerance policy. The crowd shouted back, “Zero!”

The policy of prosecuting people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally led officials to separate children from their parents. Hundreds of rallies nationwide opposed the now-abandoned policy.

In Seattle, several thousand protesters rallied outside the SeaTac Federal Detention Center that holds immigration detainees. More than 25 rallies were planned across Washington state on Saturday.

The group Patriot Prayer is planning what they call a “freedom rally” in Portland later Saturday.

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5:40 p.m.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of San Francisco to oppose the Trump administration’s family separations at the border.

Drums beat and horns played Saturday as marchers held flags and signs, some saying “Deport Trump” and “I Really Care, Do You?”

Barry Hooper of San Francisco said he attended the protest with his wife and two daughters to “let the president know that this is not acceptable.”

His 7-year-old daughter Liliana clutched a sign she made saying, “Stop the separation.”

Marchers arrived at City Hall shortly before noon and gathered to listen to politicians and activists denounce the now-abandoned policy.

Across the San Francisco Bay, hundreds of protesters turned up at a similar rally in Berkeley.

Police in both cities said the rallies appeared peaceful and reported no arrests.

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5:30 p.m.

Thousands of people spanning at least six downtown blocks marched in Minneapolis to protest U.S. immigration policies.

Some protesters set up a makeshift cage Saturday and others carried signs saying, “We as a country are in a moral crisis, not a border crisis,” ”Moms Against Baby Prisons” and “Abolish ICE.”

Ken Kirwin carried a sign showing Vladimir Putin wearing a hat with President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” and another reading, “Make America SANE again keep families together.”

The 77-year-old told the Star Tribune that it’s the first demonstration he’s marched in since protesting the war in Iraq during George W. Bush’s presidency.

Light-rail service downtown was temporarily shut down because of demonstrations blocking tracks.

The rally is among hundreds nationwide urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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This item has been corrected after the newspaper updated its story to show Kirwin didn’t wear a hat with President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, but instead carried a sign showing Vladimir Putin wearing the hat.

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5:30 p.m.

Dallas police say five people have been arrested outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building during a protest of federal immigration policies.

News station KXAS-TV reports that dozens of people were protesting outside the ICE building Saturday. Police say it began peacefully before protesters began to block lanes of a service road. Police blocked off one lane for the demonstrators, but they then moved into the other lanes.

A police supervisor said five people were arrested when they refused police orders to move.

Dallas police confirmed the arrests to The Associated Press but declined to provide details on the charges the five are facing.

The rally is among hundreds nationwide urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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5 p.m.

Thousands of protesters have gathered in downtown Los Angeles to protest an immigration policy from President Donald Trump’s administration.

Singer John Legend serenaded the crowd Saturday, and Democratic politicians who have clashed with Trump spoke against separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters called for impeachment, while Sen. Kamala Harris pointed to how migrant children taken from their parents will suffer lifelong trauma.

Protesters, many dressed in white and some holding babies, carried signs reading, “Asylum not abuse” and “No human is illegal.”

Robin Jackson of Los Angeles noted the “absolute cruelty” of the administration. She says she was heartbroken when her parents worked second shifts at night and can’t imagine what it’s like for the migrant children who don’t know when their parents are coming back.

The rally is among hundreds across the U.S.

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5 p.m.

A rally outside City Hall in Portland, Maine, grew so large that police had to shut down part of a street as about 2,000 people chanted, cheered and prayed.

People held signs saying, “Make America Kind Again,” ”Love Has No Borders” and “Diversity is Strength.”

Robert O’Brien, of Peaks Island, Maine, held aloft an upside-down U.S. flag, the symbol of distress, to show his disapproval for Trump’s immigration policies, including separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

He called it “cruel and unusual punishment.”

The protest is among hundreds across the U.S. urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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4:40 p.m.

A crowd estimated by organizers to be in the thousands converged on a Richmond, Calif., jail Saturday to protest mass incarceration and the separation of immigrant children from their parents.

The jail, known as the West County Detention Facility, is administered by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department. The department is under fire from human rights groups for its $3 million-a-year contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold immigrants and asylum-seekers facing possible deportation.

Coinciding with Saturday’s anti-ICE protests from coast to coast, the Richmond rally was the latest in a series of monthly events dubbed “Let Our People Go.” Among the scheduled speakers was Lourdes Barraza of San Francisco-based Mujeres Unidas y Activas, whose husband, Fernando Carrillo, was detained at the jail for seven months.

Another speaker was Hillary Brooks of the San Francisco Bay Area organizing group Kehilla Community Synagogue Immigration Committee. Brooks has charged that immigrant communities are being “terrorized” by ICE.

3:40 p.m.

Crowds faced down a heat index of as high as 110 degrees in downtown Chicago to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policy, surrounding a stage in Daley Plaza and shouting “Si se puede!” (“Yes, you can!”).

Margo Chavez-Easley, a 39-year-old Chicago resident who emigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala when she was 9, carried a sign that read, “What lengths would you go for your children?”

Chavez-Easley told the Chicago Tribune that as an immigrant and an American, she feels a mix of pride and shame.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was in attendance, saying it was “a place I had to be.”

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3:40 p.m.

Hundreds of people gathered in Detroit and 22 other Michigan cities to add their voices to nationwide protests over the detention of immigrant families.

Detroit police estimated that more than 250 people marched Saturday through the city’s downtown before holding a rally at Hart Plaza in sweltering, 95-degree heat.

The Detroit News reports that Democratic U.S. Rep. Sander Levin told the gathering that the detention of young immigrant children and the Trump administration’s other immigration policies “are a danger to American society.”

Saturday’s rally was among hundreds across the U.S. urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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3:20 p.m.

A central Iowa father says he was inspired to organize a rally in support of immigrant families after seeing news on Father’s Day of children separated from their parents who had recently crossed the U.S. border.

About 125 people turned out Saturday for the rally in Marshalltown organized by Steve Adelmund. Adelmund recalled being brought to tears when seeing the news on June 17 of immigrant children being separated from parents and held in cage-like structures at the border.

Adelmund, who says he identifies as a Democrat but sometimes votes Republican, said he believes the country is at a dangerous ideological turning point and that the time to speak out is now.

Adelmund said part of his motivation in organizing the rally was to show his 10-year-old daughter what democracy looks like and that one person can make a difference.

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2:45 p.m.

Neela Jayaraman was among thousands of people gathered for a second rally protesting family separation in Boston.

The 39-year-old says that as an Indian immigrant, and a social worker, President Donald Trump’s family separation and detention policies devastate her. She says as a mother, she can’t look at the cages, referring to where some children have been detained.

Cradling her 8-month-old baby Akira, Jayaraman says she has hope looking around the Boston Common. She says she hopes to keep public officials accountable.

Thousands of people marched from the Boston City Hall “Rally against Family Separation” where several elected officials, including Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, spoke out against Trump’s immigrant detention policies. Organizers are demanding local government agencies stop cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

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2:10 p.m.

A protest over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies has converged near the golf course where he is spending the weekend.

Demonstrators have gathered Saturday on a street corner near Trump’s golf resort at Bedminster, New Jersey.

They are waving signs with the messages, “Do you know where our children are?” and “Even the Trump family belongs together.”

It’s not known if Trump saw the protest. It was among hundreds of rallies around the country urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In Washington, many thousand protesters have begun marching to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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2:10 p.m.

At least one person has been arrested when protesters blocked a downtown Columbus, Ohio, street after about 2,000 people attended a two-hour rally outside the Statehouse.

The Columbus Dispatcher reports that police initially tried to shepherd the protesters from the intersection Saturday. A woman was taken away by police after a scuffle.

Melissa Myers, a nurse, told those gathered for the rally, “You don’t have to be a parent to be outraged. You just have to be a decent human being.” She said she’s never attended a rally before, much less organized one.

The protest is among hundreds across the U.S. urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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1:55 p.m.

Hundreds of people gathered near the Indiana Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis to protest the detention of immigrant families.

Protesters carried signs saying, “Try to walk in their shoes,” ”We are all immigrants” and “Families belong together.” The rally Saturday is among hundreds across the U.S. urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Patricia Carlin, a grandmother of nine from Danville, Indiana, said she was protesting to show her solidarity with immigrant families and that their detention has made her angry and afraid.

She says her “heart breaks for them” and that the U.S. “is going to be paying for this injustice.”

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1:55 p.m.

Hundreds of demonstrators slowly streamed through downtown Dallas streets, reciting chants and carrying a sea of protest signs criticizing an immigration policy from President Donald Trump.

Protesters on Saturday chanted, “Vote them out” and “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here” along the march route, which began outside Dallas City Hall.

The rally is among hundreds across the U.S. urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ratisha Smith, 35, walked with her 6-year-old son. Smith said she was protesting the separations and wants to see families back together.

She says hearing reports of young immigrant children taken from their family pushed her to protest, calling it was the last straw.

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1:45 p.m.

People symbolically wearing foil blankets are among over 4,000 people at a boisterous rally in downtown Denver.

U.S. authorities gave similar blankets to children they separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. The rally Saturday is one of hundreds across the U.S. urging the Trump administration to reunite families.

Brenda Villa of Commerce City, Colorado, says “you want to have faith” that President Donald Trump’s administration will do so as promised.

Protesters held signs saying, “Keep the kids, deport the racists,” and “Break walls, build families.”

Joan Culwell of the city of Littleton says she had never been to a protest but decided to go after first lady Melania Trump recently wore a coat that read, “I really don’t care, do u?” while traveling to visit migrant children.

Culwell wore a T-shirt saying, “I care!! Do you?”

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1:05 p.m.

Thousands of protesters have gathered in the West Texas city of El Paso to condemn what speakers describe as unconstitutional overreach by the Trump administration and heavy-handed tactics by immigration agents.

Many of the protesters, monitored by several law enforcement personnel, converged Saturday on the international bridge that carries traffic between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico.

They carried signs with slogans like “We are all immigrants” as they chanted “Love, not hate, makes America great!” and other sayings.

The rally was one of several being held in Texas cities that included Dallas, Houston and McAllen.

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12:55 p.m.

Several dozen protesters gathered in front of the Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, near a detention center where migrant children were being held in cages.

People held American and Texas flags and signs Saturday depicting a migrant father, mother and child as the Holy Family with haloed heads traveling through the desert.

Rio Grande Valley-based attorney Jennifer Harbury says parents separated from their children are being held in “prison-like” conditions in nearby Port Isabel.

She says children separated at the border should have alien registration numbers linked to their parents, but attorneys are “having terrible trouble finding these kids.”

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12:40 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is calling for swift reunification of children and parents at a Massachusetts immigration rally.

Warren says Saturday, “This is about children held in cages.” She also said, “This is about mamas who want their children back.”

Thousands of people opposed to President Donald Trump’s controversial policy of separating migrant families are in Boston for two planned protests. Warren recently visited a Border patrol processing center in McAllen, Texas.

The “Rally against Family Separation” began with a morning march from City Hall to Boston Common, where a large rally is about to take place. The protest is timed with other protests nationwide and is also meant to oppose Trump’s ban on travelers from certain Muslim-majority nations.

Organizers are demanding local government agencies stop cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

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12:25 p.m.

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies, calling for an end to the detention of immigrant families.

The crowd also included many who’ve been protesting Trump since his election in 2016. They voiced concerns about everything from abortion rights and the future makeup of the Supreme Court to what if any influence Russia might have on American politics.

Margarita Perez of Albuquerque held up a small Mexican flag as speakers addressed the crowd. Accompanied by her daughter, she said she was concerned about the children who were being detained and for those parents who did not know where their children were taken.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, a Democrat, told the crowd of his trip to the US-Mexico border, where he and other mayors were denied a tour of a shelter at the Tornillo port of entry outside of El Paso, Texas. He elicited a roar from the crowd when he said “We are here to push back, to resist.”

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12:05 p.m.

Thousands have gathering on a square across from the White House to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policy.

The crowds on Lafayette Square chanted “Shame! Shame! Shame!” as speakers denounced the separation of children from parents after they entered the U.S. illegally.

Protesters waved signs in English and Spanish. The slogan on one English sign demanded, “Where are the children?”

“Melania & Ivanka, stop the child abuse,” another slogan declared.

Protesters were due to march on the Justice Department later, in one of scores of immigration demonstrations around the country.

___

11:20 a.m.

Hundreds of protesters in downtown Dallas are calling for a clear plan to reunify families separated under President Donald Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families.

The protesters, many donning white T-shirts and clothing, carried protest signs and gathered in mass outside Dallas city hall.

One protest sign read, “Compassion not cruelty” while another said simply: “Vote”

Another sign said, “November is coming.”

Protest organizer Michelle Wentz says opposition to the policy has seemed to cross political party lines. She called it a “barbaric and inhumane” policy.

Protesters continued to stream in to the area as people registered demonstrators to vote.

The hum of side conversations gave way to chants of “We care!” outside city hall.

___

10:30 a.m.

Protesters are chanting “shame!” and singing “shut detention down!” at the kickoff of a New York City march denouncing the Trump administration’s policy of separating families of people caught crossing the border illegally.

Crowds gathered in sweltering 86-degree morning heat on Saturday at a Manhattan park before a planned march across the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn, near the federal courthouse. The crowd provided a refrain of “shame” as an organizer ran down a list of people marchers are blaming for the family separations.

Among their targets: President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the agencies Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

Toddlers sat defiantly on their parents shoulders carrying signs crying “Abolish ICE” and “I belong with my parents, not in a cage.” Across the street, a college-age woman made her priorities clear, with a simple white poster with black letters: “White woman against white supremacy.”

As the thousands of marchers streamed across the Brooklyn Bridge, cars honked in support.

June 30th Families Belong Together, New York City.
Ilana Novick / Truthdig

June 30th Families Belong Together, New York City.
Ilana Novick / Truthdig

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9:40 a.m.

Thousands of people opposed to President Donald Trump’s controversial policy of separating migrant families are descending on Boston for two planned protests.

Saturday’s “Rally against Family Separation” begins with a morning march from City Hall to Boston Common, where a large rally will take place. The protest is timed with other protests nationwide and is also meant to oppose Trump’s ban on travelers from certain Muslim-majority nations.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Joe Kennedy III, both Democrats, will be among the attendees.

The second demonstration starts Saturday afternoon with a march from Wellington Common Park to the South Bay House of Correction, a county jail in Boston which houses immigrants apprehended by federal officials.

Organizers are demanding local government agencies stop cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

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1:10 a.m.

PORTLAND, Ore.—Liberal activists, parents and first-time protesters motivated by accounts of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border plan to rally in hundreds of cities nationwide Saturday to press President Donald Trump’s administration to reunite the families quickly.

More than 600 marches could draw 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.

Though many who show up will be seasoned anti-Trump demonstrators, others will be new to immigration activism, including parents who say they feel compelled to show up after heart-wrenching accounts of children forcibly taken from their families as they crossed the border illegally. In Portland, Oregon, for example, several stay-at-home moms have organized their first rally while caring for young kids.

“I’m not a radical, and I’m not an activist,” said Kate Sharaf, a Portland co-organizer. “I just reached a point where I felt I had to do more.”

Immigrant advocacy groups say they’re thrilled — and surprised — to see the issue gaining traction among those not tied to immigration.

“Honestly, I am blown away. I have literally never seen Americans show up for immigrants like this,” said Jess Morales Rocketto, political director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which represents nannies, housekeepers and caregivers, many of whom are immigrants. “We just kept hearing over and over again, if it was my child, I would want someone to do something.”

Saturday’s rallies are getting funding and support from the American Civil Liberties Union, MoveOn.org, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and The Leadership Conference. But local organizers are shouldering on-the-ground planning, many of them women relying on informal networks established during worldwide women’s marches on Trump’s inauguration and its anniversary.

Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, welcomed interest in the immigration system and said only Congress has the power to change the law.

“We appreciate that these individuals have expressed an interest in and concern with the critical issue of securing our nation’s borders and enforcing our immigration laws,” Houlton said. “As we have indicated before, the department is disappointed and frustrated by our nation’s disastrous immigration laws and supports action.”

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, Trump said that Democrats “are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen.” He urged ICE agents to “not worry or lose your spirit.”

In Portland, Sharaf and other mothers who organized the rally hope to attract 5,000 people.

Right-wing activists with the group Patriot Prayer also have a permit to march later in the day Saturday and the Portland Police Bureau said Friday they planned to have a heavy police presence.

Sharaf and co-organizer Erin Conroy have coordinated with immigrant advocacy groups.

“This is not my wheelhouse,” Conroy said. “As far as I’m concerned, this is a national emergency that we all need to be focused on right now.”

That passion is heartening for the broader anti-Trump coalition, which hopes marches will attract people who have otherwise been on the sidelines, said David S. Meyer, a political science professor at the University of California, Irvine, who has authored books on U.S. political protest.

“There are people who have all kinds of other grievances or gripes with the Trump administration and they’re quite happy to use this one as the most productive and salient for the moment,” he said.

Immigration attorney Linda Rivas said groups have met with U.S. authorities, congressional representatives and other leaders to discuss an escalating immigration crackdown that they say began decades ago. But the family separation policy has been a watershed for attracting a broader spectrum of demonstrators, she said.

“To finally have people on board wanting to take action, marching, taking to the streets, it’s been motivating for us as advocates because we have to keep going,” Rivas said.

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Taxin reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press reporter Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Bob Lentz in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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The Associated Press and Truthdig Staff

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