‘Keep Families Together’ campaign heats up America

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Hundreds of marches took place across the United States on Saturday as thousands of people demanded the Trump administration reunite families separated at the US-Mexico border.

The protests, marching under the banner “Families Belong Together,” are hoping to push the Trump administration to reunite thousands of immigrant children separated from their families after crossing into the United States.

More than 600 marches occurred throughout the country, from liberal, immigrant-friendly cities like New York and Los Angeles to more conservative regions like Appalachia and Wyoming. American expats even gathered across from the U.S. consulate in Munich.

As approximately 30,000 people marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, they chanted, “Immigrants built this bridge.” When they got to the city’s ICE headquarters, protesters yelled “shame” at the building.

Closest to the situation were the thousands who gathered on the border with Mexico, particularly in El Paso, Texas.

Thousands watched the Facebook livestream of the “Families Belong Together” rally in Washington where parents, children and faith leaders took turns to speak out against the Trump administration policy. Lin-Manuel Miranda took the stage and sang a song from his celebrated musical “Hamilton” to the protesters.

“We will not stand for a country separating children from their families,” Miranda told MSNBC. “And if you are silent on that issue, or you are somehow for that issue you’re not getting re-elected. And that’s what we need to make them understand.”

Meanwhile, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., reminded demonstrators in Atlanta of how effective the rallies he organized in the 1960s were in combating segregation and inequality. This was another moment in which to fight back, he said.

“As a nation and a people we can do better,” Lewis said. “Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Keep marching.”

The congressman urged attendees to vote in the upcoming election to stymie the administration and future policies, and the crowd responded with a chant of “vote, vote, vote.”

More than 2,300 children were taken from their families in recent weeks under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy in which people entering the U.S. illegally face being prosecuted. But after public outcry earlier this month, President Donald Trump ordered that the families crossing into the country illegally no longer be separated.

However, more than 2,000 children still remain separated from their parents. Saturday’s marches hope to put pressure on the administration to reunify these families as quickly as possible.