MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minnesotans gathered at the Minneapolis Convention Center Saturday to participate in the Families Belong Together national day of action.
Thousands of people took to the streets in downtown Minneapolis to march and protest the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy.
“I’m just astounded by what’s going on, on a federal level with Trump and the other republicans supporting him,” said Nancy Ruhland, who was at the protest.
The outcry came more than a week after President Trump issued an executive order ending family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s estimated that more than 2,000 immigrant children have been separated from their parents since April.
“The fact that anyone would think that’s okay ever, I mean, the damage for some of those children and the trauma that they’re already facing is already done. They don’t get a do-over,” said Eric Heins with the California Teachers Association.
The protest in Minneapolis was one of hundreds taking place across the country. Activists started the march at the Minneapolis Convention Center and continued along a route that included stops at “corporations benefiting from ICE and current anti-family policies.”
“My parents are from Mexico, I think it’s important to show a kind of love and this is what you’re seeing here today,” said Edwin Monarez, who participated in the protest.
“I feel like every way you can make your voice heard is super important, especially in times like this,” said protestor Taylor Turner.
Organizers want to see families reunited, they want to see family detentions end and for the Trump administration’s immigration policy to be eliminated.
“That will hopefully send a message, let’s hope they’re listening," said Heins. "If not they’re going to be listening during the midterms because we’re going to be out and voting."
The protest brought traffic in downtown Minneapolis to a standstill. Light rail service downtown was stopped due to demonstrations blocking tracks, Metro Transit tweeted. Buses also experienced long delays.
The protest was scheduled to last until 6 p.m., but ended earlier due to extreme heat.