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Nationwide Protests Demand Reunification of Migrant Families, Abolition of ICE

HeadlineJun 25, 2018

President Trump’s latest attack on immigrants—demanding they be deported without seeing judges—comes as protests continue nationwide, demanding the reunification of families separated at the border, an end to the crackdown on immigrants and the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE.

Hundreds of protesters have launched ongoing “Occupy ICE” encampments blockading ICE facilities in New York City; Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; and Tacoma, Washington. In McAllen, Texas, protesters temporarily blocked a bus carrying migrant children from leaving a migrant detention center Saturday, chanting, “Set the children free.”

Also in McAllen, Dolores Huerta; Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy; and other activists and celebrities gathered near the federal courthouse to launch a 24-day hunger strike to call attention to the 2,400 children forcibly separated from their parents at the border over the last two months.

Meanwhile, over 5,000 people marched in San Diego, California, while in Emeryville, California, artists scaled a billboard on Interstate 80, altering a billboard that originally read “We make junk disappear” to instead read “We make kids disappear—ICE.”

Hundreds more protesters rallied Sunday in Tornillo, Texas, to demand children be freed from the newly constructed “tent city,” where the migrant children are currently being imprisoned. This is Julián Castro, the former secretary of housing and urban development, speaking at Sunday’s protest in Tornillo.

Julián Castro: “And whether it was the Muslim travel ban or the failure in Puerto Rico or this, on family separations, the problem is that this president and his administration, they use cruelty as a hobby. Incompetence is their standard operating procedure. Division is their tool. And we cannot leave it to chance. We need to verify that these children are being reunited with their parents.”

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was also thrown out of the small Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, after the restaurant’s workers voted to kick her out. She’s the latest Trump administration official to face protests over the last week, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who faced protests at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose United Methodist Church members have filed hundreds of formal church complaints accusing him of child abuse. After Sarah Huckabee Sanders was thrown out, she tweeted out the name of the restaurant from her official Twitter account.

All this comes as hundreds of migrants are still camped out on the Mexico side of the U.S. border, waiting to be allowed to apply for political asylum, per international law. Despite Trump’s executive order last week ended family separation, many say they still fear being forcibly separated from their children. This is one Honduran mother who has been waiting with her children in Reynosa, Mexico, just across the border from McAllen, Texas, for over two weeks to apply for asylum.

Honduran migrant: “That’s the biggest fear, that I’d be separated from my children. I fled from the danger in Honduras. And to be taken away from them here in the United States, I don’t know what I’d do. I think about this day and night, when I see my children, when I’m getting them ready, when they’re awake, when they ask for food, when they go to the bathroom. That the U.S. authorities would take them away from me, I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t know what would happen to me.”

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