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Thousands march against U.S. immigration policy

05 July 2018

"This is not what we stand for and this is not okay, and we will not stand here and watch our country be torn apart and watch babies be torn from their mothers", she told AFP.

Advocates say that even migrants who have already passed their initial asylum screenings are being presented with the form.

The Trump administration kidnapped thousands of migrant children from the arms of parents at the border and thrust them into the arms of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) with no plan in place on how to get them back to their families.

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.

The Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy of separating immigrant parents and their children on the USA border has resulted in the separation of almost 2,000 children from their parents and guardians, sparking a public outcry. Lawyers say it is highly manipulative for immigration officials to ask separated parents who are desperate to reunite with their children to sign a deportation form.

"I missed nine months of his life and it should never have happened", said the woman, who only gave her name as Jocelyn. One sign read: "Compassion not cruelty" while another simply said: "Vote".

"Donald Trump created this crisis through his own actions, blamed others for what's happening, and used the ensuing chaos to demand a legislative solution that harms even more people".

Activists gathered in front of the White House on Saturday to make their point against the immigration policies that have led to the separation of families from their children.

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A band of drummers whipped up the fervour of a crowd, carrying signs such as "Our New York is Immigrant New York". Rallies were held across the nation calling on federal agencies to reunite families separated at the border under Trump's "zero tolerance" policy, as well as calling for the abolishment of ICE.

"Parents do not know what is happening with their children, and they are housed in unhealthy areas, in cages like dogs", said protester Jose Luis Castillo.

Demonstrations are being held across the US Saturday against President Donald Trump's hardline immigration policy.

Those claims must be first evaluated by the apprehending officer and then taken up by an immigration court, a process that in some cases can take years.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not respond to a request for comment.

Similar instructions were given to child welfare workers in U.S. Health and Human Services shelters before Trump ended family separations.

"Occupy ICE" camps have been set up in several U.S. states.

Thousands march against U.S. immigration policy