Vancouver residents protest Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policies

Pauline Gross
July 6, 2018

The protests over the weekend saw hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets in solidarity with the over 2,000 children that have been forcibly separated from their parents who crossed the USA border.

In cities such as NY and Los Angeles to conservative strongholds across the Deep South, "Families Belong Together" rallies drew people from both sides of the issue to more than 700 marches scheduled throughout the country.

Under zero tolerance, immigration agents had been instructed to separate all children from parents caught crossing illegally. "Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here", they chanted, also declaring a welcome for Muslims.

In cities like Los Angeles and NY, thousands of people marched with some holding placards calling for no more family separations and for the abolishment of the immigration agency ICE.

Starting in early May, in an attempt to staunch the flow of tens of thousands of migrants to the southern United States border every month, Trump ordered the arrest of adults crossing the boundary illegally, including those seeking asylum.

The preliminary injunction U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw issued in the ACLU suit last week, in addition to ordering the Trump administration to end the family separation policy, specifically stated that separated parents could not be deported without their child unless the parent "affirmatively, knowingly, and voluntarily declines to be reunited with the child" prior to deportation.

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The forms, as first reported by NBC News, ask parents to agree to either reunite with their children in exchange for agreeing to return to their home countries, or to agree to leave the United States without their child at all. Protestors took to the streets of cities all across the nation, with hundreds of organized events that expressed anger over the Trump policy.

Julia Lam, 58, joined the NY protest with two friends and their young children in strollers.

It's been one week since Judge Dana Sabraw, a George W. Bush appointee, gave the government until the end of July to reunite separated families, and staffers from ORR, "the division within [Health and Human Services] HHS that oversees the care of unaccompanied children, have received no instructions on how to proceed", Politico reports. "I am angry. I'm very sad already with what is going on with our country".

In a series of tweets, Trump demanded lawmakers "pass smart, fast and reasonable Immigration Laws" now, despite the House of Representatives rejecting a broad immigration bill late last month that had support from the president.

Saturday's demonstrations were expected to be the biggest yet. Many speakers from the community expressed sentiments of their fear about ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detainment and the agency's "disregard of humane treatment".

Critics say the agency has treated some would-be immigrants cruelly and unfairly. In fact, expedited removals - which is to say, removal orders issued to individuals who have been ordered to leave the USA previously - account for the vast majority of deportations. Next it will be all police. That bond that held them together, as it holds us together tonight, that bond that has stood every test and travail, is found deep in our national consciousness: an abiding love of liberty.

Other reports by GizPress

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