People from all parts of the Stateline came together Saturday morning to become one march of hundreds across the nation rallying for the “Keep Families Together” movement to protest family separation.
Various backgrounds and people of all ages hoped to have their voices heard.
Paula Drews was one of dozens who gathered to attend the rally that began at Rockford’s City Hall. “Separation from parents is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a kid,” said Drews. “I just feel so strongly that we should not be part of a government that has that as a policy.”
“I’m here to protest our government’s immoral policies,” said Scott Shepherd, another demonstrator. This protest comes as families were being separated after crossing the Mexico/United States border illegally.
“I wanted to come out because what’s happening down at the border is disgraceful,” said Elizabeth Lindquist.
Lindquist describes the separation methods as inhumane and believes there needs to be a change in perspective and “we need to start thinking about children as people. We need to start thinking about refugees as human beings trying to make a better life for themselves.”
Amongst the chanting and signs, Shepherd brings up America’s Immigration history.
“Our country was built on people from other nations who emigrated here to find better life”.
But protestors don’t want it to end here. They’re looking to pressure the nation’s lawmakers on Capitol Hill and hope for change.
“I feel like we all can’t just come to the march and then go home to our air conditioning,” said Drews. “We got to keep it going forward. We need to call our congress people and our senators.”
President Trump did sign an executive order on June 20th to put a stop to the future separation of detained families following public outcry and pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Plans to reunite those who were separated before the signed order have not been made.