Hundreds gather in Logan Square to call for an end to family detention

The "Families Belong Together" rally was one of more than 700 nationwide.

Justin Udo
June 30, 2018 - 2:05 pm
Families Belong Together Rally

Justin Udo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A rally in Philadelphia was among the more than 700 planned marches across the country Saturday in protest of President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Franklin Institute in Logan Square for the "Families Belong Together" rally, a national action that is calling for the end of family detention.

Those in attendance held signs that read "We Are All immigrants," "End Family Detention" and "Family Separation is Child Abuse."

Erika Almiron, with Juntos, a Latino immigrant led organization that works in human rights, education, labor and immigration, helped organize the rally.

"The Trump administration is being so horrendous to the immigrant community, and ripping children away from their parents," Almiron said. "There are more things that our city here in Philadelphia can do."

The group is calling on Mayor Jim Kenney to kick Immigration and Customs Enforcement out of Philadelphia.

"We're calling on Mayor Kenney to sever ties with ICE, to get them out of our databases, to expand sanctuary," Almiron said. "And we're calling on Governor Wolf to immediately shutdown Berks (detention center) in light of everything that has happened there."

President 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.

The rallies come nearly two months after the Trump administration implemented its "zero tolerance" policy toward undocumented immigrants, prompting the separation of thousands of children from their parents.

Poet Denice Frohman was among the many guest speakers in Philadelphia who braved the heat and humidity to address the issue.

"(The heat) pales in comparison to the hundred degree weather that young mothers and babies waiting at the port of entry and all along the borders, the hard, hard, hard conditions and dangerous conditions that they experience," Frohman said.

Thousands of undocumented children were separated from their parents as a result of Trump's zero tolerance policy. The president signed an executive order reversing the family separation policy, but the protests clearly indicate that many Americans are still unhappy.