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Thousands Gather For ‘Families Belong Together’ Rally In Atlanta

Thousands gathered for a rally in Atlanta protesting immigrant family separation.
Thousands gathered for a rally in Atlanta protesting immigrant family separation.
Credit Kaitlin Kolarik / WABE
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In Atlanta today, several thousand protesters marched against the separation of families at the U.S-Mexico border.

Dressed in white and undeterred by the Georgia heat, crowds marched about a half mile from the Atlanta Detention Center to the Richard B. Russell Federal Building.

Many carried signs and banners calling to “abolish ICE” and “end deportations.”

Saturday’s march in Atlanta was one of more than 700, according to the Associated Press, that took place around the country in protest of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. (Kaitlin Kolarik/WABE)

Lynda Hernandez was part of the crowd.

She said, as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient and mother, the she feels unsafe in the current political climate.

“I’ve thought about moving back to Mexico and that would mean leaving [my son] here. And then bringing him to me. And that’s months of separation,” said Hernandez. “I can’t imagine that.”

Hernandez added she was a little fearful to attend the march, but she felt she had to stand up for other immigrants and their children.

The rally itself was largely family friendly, and several families marched together.

When the march came to an end, several speakers, including Georgia Congressman John Lewis, stood at the top of the Federal building steps.

Rep. John Lewis of Georgia’s 5th District speaks to the crowd in Atlanta Saturday. (Kaitlin Kolarik/WABE)

Many called for Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to cancel the city detention center’s contract with U.S. Marshal Service.

Bottoms recently stopped the jail from accepting new ICE detainees.

Lewis commended the protesters for “showing up” and reminded the crowd to continue building “beloved community.”

“Maybe our foremothers and our forefathers came to this land in different ships. But we’re all in the same boat now.,” Lewis said “There is no such thing as an illegal human being.”