Protests against President Trump’s immigration policies are occurring today in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and at least four foreign countries. There are over 700 stateside protests planned, under the banner of “Families Belong Together”. Many of the protests in foreign countries, which happened both last night and today, are being led by Democrats Abroad, a group for U.S. citizens living abroad. Germany, France, Japan, and the U.K. all hosted protests.
These protests are a reaction to President Trump’s Zero Tolerance immigration policy, which resulted in the inhumane practice of separating immigrant children from their parents. Trump, under heavy bipartisan pressure, bowed to that pressure to sign an executive order stopping that separation policy a week ago Wednesday, but that order also meant that children would now be detained with their parents. Neither the executive order nor any subsequent administration plan provided any sort of cohesive plan for reuniting the children already separated back with their parents.
The ACLU won a lawsuit against the Trump administration to force it to follow a specific, timely reunification plan, but the administration is likely to fight that ruling and has not yet publicly indicated that it will actually comply with the ruling. In the meantime, Trump has suggested further erosion of rights for immigrants, including denying them due process with “no judges or court cases” and having Congress change the law to allow such children to be detained for far longer than the 20 days that is currently legal.
Here is an image from the Families Belong Together march in Munich, Germany today. Noteworthy signs in the crowd include “Hate won’t make us great”, “Reunite Families Now”, and “France wants their Statue back”:
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 30, 2018
These image are from the march organized in Tokyo, Japan, by Democrats Abroad:
— 金蜜 (@mkimpo_kid) June 30, 2018
In Paris, France, at another vigil led by Democrats Abroad, one protester’s sign suggests that rather than having Donald Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy for immigrants, we should have “Zero tolerance for fascists in America” instead.
— Ellen KushnerNoRelation (@EllenKushner) June 29, 2018
Democrats Abroad was also working within the protests to register voters from the pool of U.S. citizens living abroad. As this post from Democrats Abroad Munich stated, “Thank you to everyone who came out today to get registered to vote and to make our voices heard that the zero-tolerance policy is wrong, that the trauma we are inflicting on children is inhuman and we demand change…”
Thank you to everyone who came out today to get registered to vote and to make our voices heard that the zero-tolerance policy is wrong, that the trauma we are inflicting on children is inhuman and we demand change… https://t.co/YNZ8jrmpPN
— Democrats Abroad MUC (@DAGMunich) June 30, 2018
As for the stateside protests, they are planned in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with more than 700 events in total. Many of the events are expected to draw large crowds. According to The Hill:
Galvanized by a federal judge’s order this week that the government must act quickly to reunite children with their families, immigration and civil rights activists are set to take over Lafayette Square near the White House as they launch protests on Saturday. The demonstration in downtown Washington, D.C., will mark the epicenter for the “Families Belong Together” march, which includes more than 700 sister protests planned in all 50 states, according to organizers…Among the organizations backing the Saturday protests are the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, among dozens of others… The planned marches are the latest in a series of massive, nationwide protests against Trump administration’s policies. Few policies have elicited as much public furor as the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which calls for the prosecution of all people who illegally cross into the United States through its southern border.
The federal order mentioned as “galvanizing” protesters was issued by a federal judge in San Diego this week. It mandates that the Trump administration reunite children under age 5 with their family within 14 days, reunite children over that age within 30 days, and that telephone contact between parents and separated children must happen within 10 days. The Trump administration has not indicated how it will comply with the deadlines, or even if it will comply with the deadlines – it is likely the administration will attempt to appeal the ruling.
It is sad, yet undeniably true, that the primary thing President Trump inspires is protest against him and his policies. Today’s protests in every state and at least four foreign countries are further evidence of that reality.