There was a passionate rally outside the Charter Oak Family Health Center in Hartford Thursday as immigration advocates called for an end to family separation at the US border, even after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end the practice.
Many are still fearful about what comes next for thousands of children separated from their families at the southern border.
“Everybody should be out here tonight. There are children who were taken away from their families,” said Rene Daguerre-Bradford of Simsbury.
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said a priority is figuring out how many migrant children ended up in Connecticut and reuniting them with their parents.
There are many other kids in a similar situation. Thoughts were with children thousands of miles away on the southern border. Images of those confined kids haunt many.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been more embarrassed as citizens of this country before this act,” Steve Champ of Pomfret.
There was little relief that Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that he said would at least keep migrant families together.
Since May some 2,000 children have been separated from their parents.
“These kids are going through trauma that will live for them for a long time,” said Weruche George of Hamden.
Immigration advocates are calling for an end to what the president dubs his zero-tolerance policy for anyone crossing the border illegally, which could result in parents and children being held.
Activists also want all the already separated children accounted for, reunited with their parents and to make sure this action never happens again.
“What we’ve been told is no future kids are going to be locked up without their parents. But we have no idea what’s happening to the 2,000 kids. There are still so many unanswered questions,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut.
Murphy advocated against detaining families seeking asylum. Instead he argued there are high success rates allowing them into communities as their court cases play out.