Hundreds of Thousands of People March to Keep Families Together

Jasper Lo

Prisca Edwards / Global Citizen

“No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”

New York City’s Financial District is no stranger to crowds, but instead of briefcases, thousands of people carried signs, banners, and posters, gathering in Foley Square on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

Thousands attended the Families Belong Together March, calling to reunite families. Altogether activists participated in more than 600 marches across all 50 US states, Puerto Rico, and in countries like Germany and Brazil.

Take Action: Tell Congress to #ReuniteFamiliesNow and Urge Governments to Support Safe Migration

Though US President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week ending his administration’s policy of separating immigrant families at the US-Mexico border, the order did not call for the immediate reunification of the thousands of families who have already been split apart. The nationwide demonstrations called for the families to be reunited as soon as possible and for immigration policy reform.

Outrage over the practice of separating families at the border in order to detain adults who illegally cross the US border has prompted many to donate to legal organizations supporting immigrants and others to take to the streets in protest.

At the demonstration in New York City, Global Citizen asked marchers what moved them to join the march and what change they hope to make.

Read More: How You Can Still Help Migrant Families Being Separated at the Border

Miranda.ESther-7231.jpgEsther Duran (left) and Miranda Ranghelli-Duran (right) at the Keep Families Together March, New York City. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

"I want immigration to be easier. People think people immigrate illegally because they want to, but they do it because they have to."  

— Miranda Ranghelli-Duran

Leslie.Garcia-7125.jpgGlobal Citizen volunteer Leslie Garcia at Foley Square. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

“I don’t hope they only abolish what they’re doing, I hope they find better ways for immigration laws, not just separating families at the border. I just hope they start setting up better laws.”

— Leslie Garcia

Read More: Federal Judge Orders Trump to Reunite Migrant Families Within 30 Days

Maisie.C-7104-2.jpgFifth grader Maisie C. in front of the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

“It’s terrible. Honestly I can’t imagine being separated. I can’t relate to it, it’s so unbelievable. I think it’s good for kids to protest, it says that kids are standing with other children.”

— Maisie C.

Alex.Aviles-7126.jpgGlobal Citizen volunteer Alex Aviles at Foley Square. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

“I want equality, but at this point, just acceptance would be good.”

 — Alex Aviles

Keyla.Cruz-7382.jpgKeyla Cruz in front of City Hall park. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

“I want to show the president that we won’t stay silent.”

-Keyla Cruz

Archie-7270.jpgFrom left to right, Kyle, Sara, and Sloane Archie before crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

“I feel a kind of hopelessness, I ask ‘What can I do to fight this?' So that’s pretty much it, there’s no other option but to do this.”

 — Kyle Archie

“Others should be doing this. Let politicians know that people are angry about this.”

 — Sara Archie

18-0630_ImmigrantRally-7437.jpgFrom left to right, Sreenv, Sathya, Minarose Yedavalli in front of the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

“Immigration policy is one thing, ripping kids out of hands of families is a whole different story.”

 — Sreenv Yedavalli

18-0630_ImmigrantRally-7398.jpgParents from left to right, Sathya Yedavalli, Roshinia A., Raj A., Sreenv Yedavalli in front of the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

 "There’s a culture of fear that’s been propagated and, you just have to stand up and say no, that’s not acceptable." 

 — Roshini A.

Virginia.Millington-7221.jpgVirginia and Louis Millington in front of the New York County Supreme Court. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

“I just hope that people continue to advocate for policies that emphasize humanity and compassion. It’s much more important to be a country that is valued for its decency and humanity than one that’s prized for its security.”

 — Virginia Millington

Van.Yu-7175.jpgVan Yu in front of the New York County Supreme Court. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

"The world gets better from individual acts between individual people. At the end of the day, I think that’s more powerful than executive orders and even legislation. If every individual interaction got better, a little bit everyday, the whole thing could get better.”

-Van Yu

Saldis-7139.jpgMaya Saldis (left) and Meredith Saldis (right) in front of the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

“It shouldn’t matter where they’re from, every kid should stay with their family.”

 — Maya Saldis

Abby.N-7206.jpgAbby N. in front of the New York County Supreme Court. Prisca Edwards/Global Citizen

“I think this is an opportunity to connect with one another and to know that we are not alone in how much we despise what’s going on and how concerned we are about it.”

 — Abby N.

Global Citizen campaigns in support of equal rights for all and the safe passage of migrants fleeing from violence. Take action here and tell Congress to #ReuniteFamiliesNow and urge governments to support safe migration.