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Local Activists Protest Forced Separation Of Immigrant Families

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Protestors in Memphis called for an end to the prosecution and separation of immigrant families.

The demonstration was in response to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions policy calling for zero tolerance when mothers cross the southern border with children illegally.

Rallies like this one are happening from Washington D.C. to Seattle, Washington.

Various immigration advocacy groups argue illegal border crossing is a matter of life or death for these families.

Nine-year-old Aubrey Chavez and her mother Anna want to help the immigrant families being separated as they cross the border into the United States. 

"It makes me feel awful that we can't do anything about this and that it's happening," said Chavez.

She joined others to protest the Trump administration's immigration practices during the National Day of Action rally in Downtown Memphis.

Shelia Starkey Hahn is just one of the local attorneys who organized this protest.

"At that moment they are torn from the arms of their mothers it is the cruelest punishment of a child you can imagine," said Starkey Hahn. 

Starkey Hahn explained many immigrant families are seeking asylum from the northern triangle of Central America.

"Their children go to school with our children and it affects all of us as Americans," said Starkey Hahn.

During the demonstration children stood with their parents as speakers talked about the traumatic effects on the estimated 700 immigrant children, nearly 100 under the age of 4, that Starkey Hahn says are without their parents right now. 

"Even if I just change one person's mind about what's happening right now it makes me feel a lot better," said Chavez.

Organizers of today's protest urged participants to vote in the upcoming local election.

They also handed out phone numbers of local state representatives to let them know where they stand on current immigration practices.


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