For about two hours hundreds of people gathered outside New Haven City Hall Wednesday to show their support for undocumented immigrants.
"We have a broken immigration system. There is no getting in the back of the line because there is no line," said Kica Matos, an immigrant rights organizer.
"It's portrayed like these are criminals coming and stealing out jobs when a lot of these families are fleeing poverty and violence and desperate situations. They just want a better life for their families," said Manchester resident Dawn Cook.
Recent news spurred the protest with President Donald Trump saying that ICE will soon launch mass raids targeting undocumented immigrants. Those at the rally say they're horrified to hear about recent accounts of children in detention receiving little food and going for days - even weeks - without soap, showers, or toothbrushes. They also spoke about the heart-wrenching news of a father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande trying to cross the border.
The loss of life is something Trump blamed on the Democrats.
"Open borders means people drowning in the rivers," the president said. "Change the laws. They have to change the laws."
Faith and community leaders spoke at Wednesday's rally. State Attorney General William Tong talked about his own background as the son of immigrants.
"I'm here as the proud son of two immigrants that came to this state. I'm here as the proud son of a man who was at one point undocumented," said Tong.
Interim Police Chief Otoniel Reyes told the crowd that officers are there to defend everyone's rights.
"It doesn't mean that we won't criminalize criminal activity. It means we will not criminalize immigration. We will not criminalize humanity. So we commit to you that we will continue to support you," said Reyes.
Many at the rally told the mayor that they want the city to adopt a sanctuary city ordinance. The mayor says she is willing to meet with activists about it.