Protesters March For More Than Solving Family Separations

We went to "Families Belong Together" marches across the country to find out precisely what protesters want – besides family reunification.
Posted at 1:42 PM, Jul 02, 2018

It was above 90 degrees on Saturday in Chicago as 60,000 people protested the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy, demanding a complete end to family separation and family detention. Chicago was one of hundreds of locations around the country where "Families Belong Together" marches took place. Organizers say 200,000 protesters marched in more than 750 cities in all 50 states.

"Knowing that families are being taken away from families right as they're entering the country. That can't feel good. Like, that's hurting," Anika Jones said.

"As a mother, seeing any kid – regardless of where they are from – being taken away from their parents is unacceptable on every level," Jennifer Pedroza added. 

"The administration has to have to plan to reunification, has to show that they know where the children are and are able to bring them back together to their parents," Anne Zkrodski said. 

Despite the president's decision to stop the separations, people we interviewed said the White House is not doing enough to reunite families that are still torn apart. Protesters also said the administration's new plan, to detain families together during their immigration proceedings, is unnecessarily cruel – especially for the children.    

"They stopped separating families but now they are detaining families in prison. So that's not the solution. It's not an either or, which is how they're presenting it," said Mony Ruiz-Velasco, a protest organizer.  

"This country shouldn't be a country with 10,000 people locked up in detention camps," John McGovern said.

The White House prefers detention over supervised release, saying it prevents immigrants from running away in the interior and skipping their court hearings. While protecting migrant families' human rights is the main goal of this movement, protesters have not forgotten about Dreamers and other vulnerable immigrant populations. 

"There already is a process for vetting people. It was already there for Muslims. And yet they created a Muslim ban," Jim Coleman said.

"I first-hand know people that are undocumented and they are hard-working, they have families that come here for a better future for their kids and themselves and I'm here because they deserve an opportunity to do just that," Dulce Leyva said. 

"To take apart families, to tell them 'no', to call them 'criminals' and them ship them back. That's the America that they are getting," Jones added.