thousands [UPDATE 6/30: at least tens of thousands] set out across the country, clothed in white, to march against the Trump administration’s institutionalization of child abuse. (And it is hot out.) The “Families Belong Together” protests, which were planned about a month in advance, are no less prescient after Wednesday, when a San Diego federal judge ordered U.S. immigration officials to return migrant children to their parents within 30 days, and to return children under five within 14 days. Though it’s great news, the deadline seems aspirational given the extent of the wreckage caused by the zero-tolerance policy in just a few months. Children have already been moved to shelters halfway across the country, some parents have already been deported, 3-year-olds are being sent to immigration court alone, and in order to be “reunified,” many children will be sent to prison-like detention facilities with their parents.
And it’s all a maddening waste of life, since there have been proven effective alternatives to keeping asylum-seeking families together and out of detention. According to a report by ICE, 100% of people in the now-defunct Family Case Management Program–a program for asylum-seekers with young children which allowed families to live freely amongst communities–showed up to their court hearings anyway. Not to mention the relentless race-baiting and posturing which has waylaid any productive action or discourse and wasted most of the past 525 days.
The protests are amplifying a movement which has been swelling over the past months. Protestors have been stopping buses full of migrant children and demanding to know where they are going. Last week, hundreds showed up to Laguardia airport to support migrant kids who were reportedly arriving in New York alone. On Thursday, Washington D.C. police arrested at least 575 people at a civil disobedience rally. Even the celebrities are boldly embarking on 24-hour hunger strikes.
Here are some rolling dispatches from a few of the 700+ events planned in all 50 states. We’ll keep updating the post as news develops.
Update 6/30: Leah, a 12-year-old activist from Miami, spoke in Washington, D.C. about living in “constant fear” of ICE taking her mother. It’s heart-wrenching. Read the full speech here.
Update 6/30: Donald Trump is reportedly at the New Jersey golf club tweeting to the “great and brave men and women of ICE”: “do not worry or lose your spirit.” Inspiring.
Update 6/30: Senator Elizabeth Warren has also called to abolish and replace ICE:
Representative John Lewis, civil rights activist who, among many other things, led the 2016 gun control sit-in on the House floor, spoke in Atlanta:
Representative Maxine Waters addresses death threats she’s been getting as a vehement critic of Trump’s immigration policies. “If you shoot me, you better shoot straight. There’s nothing like a wounded animal.”
Update 6/30: Chrissy Teigen spoke as the daughter of an immigrant. “Can you imagine this city without the contributions of immigrants? How bland, how flavorless LA would be, how boring?”
John performed too:
Update 6/30: Lin-Manuel Miranda, who’s been using Hamilton to raise money for Puerto Rico, sings a song from Hamilton:
Update 6/30: Diane Guerrero of Orange Is the New Black talks about having been separated from her family as a teen:
A bird’s-eye view:
Near a Customs and Border Protection Station in McAllen, TX:
This is nice.