Hundreds of activists rally to protest immigrant family separation


    Columbia, S.C. (WACH) -- Hundreds of local residents joined thousands across the nation for the 'Keep Families Together' march on Saturday.

    The activists and community members gathered at the State House as part of a nationwide day of protest against the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

    "I've always been taught that you love your neighbor as yourself," said Fran Cardwell. "And if your neighbor is from Honduras or Haiti or Mexico, then you treat them with respect and love."

    Another Midlands resident, Alejandra Estrada, says the fight has been long overdue.

    "We should be asking why we've put up with this for so long," said Estrada. "And why we're paying attention just now with ICE. Why haven't we been paying attention with the prisons that have been separating families forever?"

    Others issues at the forefront on Saturday included mass incarceration, racism and police brutality and previous bans on persons from the Muslim community.

    "Dealing with racist mass incarceration, ICE detention, those are ways that families have been separated," said Kym Smith, a local activist. "Whether people who have come here, or who were born and raised here, families are getting separated."

    Thus far, over 2,000 children have purportedly been separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. This rally was one of a number of others held in cities across the U.S.

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