Protests planned nationwide over Trump immigration policy

Protesters who marched from Freedom Plaza to the U.S. Capitol demonstrate inside the Hart Senate Office Building against family detentions and to demand the end of criminalizing efforts of asylum seekers and immigrants

Atlanta protesters rallying against President TrumpDonald John TrumpMike Huckabee: If Trump nominated Moses to the Supreme Court Dems would still be unhappy Trump admin likely to detain migrant families for months during immigration proceedings: report ICE chief to protesters: We're not the ones separating families MORE's immigration policy carried a dog crate with baby dolls inside of it. The rally was in conjunction with more than 700 "Families Belong Together" protests in Washington, D.C. and other cities across the nation. Thousands dressed in white and gathered early Saturday morning in sweltering 90-degree heat in Lafayette Park across from the White House in what was expected to be the largest of the day's protests.

And there were plenty of shirts declaring, "I really do care, do u?" - a dig at the jacket first lady Melania Trump wore while departing for a trip to the southwest border last week.

The demonstrators included immigrants, activists, and parents moved by accounts of children being separated from their families at the US-Mexico border.

There are concerns, too, that records were not kept linking parents and children. MoveOn, CHIRLA, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the Women's March LA Foundation and the Council on American- Islamic Relations were among the many groups participating.

More than 630 events were planned calling for migrant families split up at the U.S. border to be reunited.

Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security, welcomed interest in the immigration system and said only Congress has the power to change the law. The teenager and her family are now taking sanctuary in a church in the city because a judge denied asylum. They carried signs reading: "No more children in cages", and "What's next?"

The rally was organized by group March on Vancouver, and is one of 16 taking place in Canada, and dozens scheduled across the US on Saturday.

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Numerous signs, and some of the speakers, called for the abolishment of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, which enforces immigration policies.

"We are sick and exhausted of seeing little children, little babies taken from their mothers".

Tweeting Saturday from New Jersey, Trump urged ICE agents to "not worry or lose your spirit" and wrote that "the radical left Dems want you out". "As far as I'm concerned, this is a national emergency that we all need to be focused on right now".

"It's upsetting. Families being separated, children in cages", said Emilia Ramos, a cleaner in the district, fighting tears at the rally.

In El Paso, Texas, immigrant advocacy groups are partnering with religious leaders and women's march organizers Saturday to try to shut down the bridge connecting El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. "So I beg everyone, please release these children, give my son back to me", she said through an interpreter and wept. "As a nation and a people we can do better", Lewis said. Authorities told her he could be relinquished for adoption, she said, as audible gasps came from the crowd.

Immigration attorney Linda Rivas said groups have met with USA authorities, congressional representatives and other leaders to discuss an escalating immigration crackdown that they say began decades ago.

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