MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On a steamy Sunday, protesters near in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood were fuming.
Fathers on their day, upset over families being torn apart at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I am against anything that would separate families, parents from their children,” said Doug Gordhammer, a father who was protesting.
The march, boasting hundreds of people, began outside GOP headquarters, making its way Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office on Washington Avenue.
Protesters feel both Republican and Democratic lawmakers need to do something about the “zero tolerance” policy recently enacted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It refers all cases of illegal entry into U.S. for criminal prosecution. Parents are jailed, but their children put in shelters.
“We can have different opinions, different political ideas. But one thing is, when people start touching our kids, it’s different,” said William Martenez, a member of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, as well as one of the march’s organizers.
Across the country similar protests filled the streets. But those who disagree with the protests argue that when a family illegally crosses into the U.S., the penalties for doing so are the risk they take.
“I understand that something needs to be done, but when families are separated and children are ripped from their parents, it’s inhumane,” said Judy Gordhammer.
She and many of the protesters say the Sunday march is just the beginning of a fight to keep families together.
“It’s almost 100 degrees today. We march, we come back and we’ gonna continue on the street,” said Martenez.
A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said last week that from April 19-May 31 this year, 1,995 children have been separated from 1,940 adults at the U.S – Mexico border.