Protesters will gather in Cedar Rapids to push for the reunification of migrant families

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Families Belong Together Cedar Rapids

Sokol Park, Cedar Rapids — Saturday, June 30 at 10:30 a.m.

Community members hold signs high and march in support of immigrants and refugees on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann

On Saturday, there will be rallies in more than 620 cities across the country, including Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, to protest the Trump administration’s treatment of migrants arriving at the U.S. border with Mexico. The Families Belong Together protests were originally inspired by the administration’s policy of taking children away from their families, and interring them in separate facilities.

After weeks of falsely claiming there was nothing he could do to stop the family separations, President Trump issued an executive order on June 20 to stop the process. But that won’t stop the rallies.

“Even though the president has signed this executive order, that doesn’t mean that the more than 2,000 kids who were separated from their families are going to be reunited,” said Katie Brennan, regional organization director for NextGen Iowa, one of the groups hosting the Cedar Rapids rally. “There’s no real plan for that reunification.”

It’s a point that Judge Dana Sabraw of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California made last week, when ordering the federal government to return the migrant children to their families within a month.

“Under the present system, migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property,” Sabraw said.

NextGen Iowa is a nonprofit focused on registering young voters and making sure they actually follow through and vote. According to Brennan, the group made more than 2,700 calls to young voters and sent out 83,000 texts to encourage voting in Iowa during the run-up to the June 5 primary elections.

In addition to the rally in Cedar Rapids, NextGen Iowa is also helping to organize the Families Belong Together rallies in Des Moines and Cedar Falls.

The hour-long rally in Cedar Rapid’s Sokol Park will begin at 10:30 a.m.

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