Immigrant supporters demand parents’ release, protest Trump

LOS ANGELES — Immigrant-rights advocates asked a federal judge to order the release of parents separated from their children at the border, as demonstrators decrying the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown were arrested Tuesday at a rally ahead of a Los Angeles appearance by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The court action was brought by the Los Angeles-based pro bono law firm Public Counsel on behalf of three Central American mothers whose children were taken from them by U.S. authorities in May.

More than 2,000 children in all have been separated from their parents and placed in government-contracted shelters in recent weeks under a now-abandoned Trump administration policy toward families caught illegally crossing the border. Public Counsel demanded that the parents be released and immediately reunited with their children.

“These parents are terrified for their children and want nothing more than to ensure the scarring that this experience has already caused does not continue to inflict irreparable harm,” Judy London, a Public Counsel attorney, said in a statement.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

Amid an international outcry over the children’s treatment, President Donald Trump last week announced an end to the practice of separating immigrant families.

The Trump administration has instead asked the federal court in Los Angeles to let authorities detain families together for an extended period during immigration proceedings. Under a 1997 court settlement, children must be released from detention as quickly as possible.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday that his department still has custody of 2,047 immigrant children separated from their parents at the border. That is only six fewer children than the number in HHS custody as of last Wednesday.

On Tuesday, dozens of immigrant-rights activists demonstrated outside the U.S. attorney’s office in downtown Los Angeles. Sessions was scheduled to address the conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation at a hotel later in the day.

Protesters carried signs reading, “Free the children!” and “Stop caging families.” Demonstrators on sidewalks cheered as clergy members who blocked the street by forming a human chain while chanting, “Kids belong at home, not in cages” were calmly handcuffed by police and led away.

It was not immediately clear how many arrests were made.

“They told us on no uncertain terms they wanted to be arrested,” said Deputy Police Chief Robert Arcos. “It was their desire to be arrested, it certainly wasn’t ours.”

Just Posted

You can’t always know where life will lead, says formerly homeless single mom

Red Deer woman can’t get a job because she can’t afford child care

Police need public help in locating missing Red Deer woman

Shannon Marie Collins was last heard from on March 31

Red Deerians arrested after truck was stolen in Rimbey

Both will appear in Red Deer court on May 24

RCMP investigate incident in Innisfail

RCMP are still investigating a serious incident that happened at a downtown… Continue reading

Disappearance of woman, toddler treated as potential homicides: Calgary police

Calgary police say they are treating the disappearance of a woman and… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps voice concerns about MLS travel woes

VANCOUVER — Concerns are being raised about how Major League Soccer handles… Continue reading

Canada looks to defend para-hockey title at world championship in Czech Republic

Canada forward Dominic Cozzolino keeps his 2018 Paralympic silver medal tucked away… Continue reading

John Singleton of ‘Boys N the Hood’ in coma after stroke

LOS ANGELES — “Boyz N the Hood” director John Singleton is in… Continue reading

400-year-old Bible stolen from US is found in Netherlands

PITTSBURGH — A 400-year-old Bible stolen from a Pittsburgh library has been… Continue reading

Opinion: Schools can’t be exempt from scrutiny

This weekend’s meeting of the Alberta School Councils’ Association promises to be… Continue reading

Local Sports: Clayton Pottinger reaching for new heights

There are times in anyone’s life when they make a decision that… Continue reading

Seniors: Smarter living for older adults

One of the major life transitions characteristic of aging is leaving one’s… Continue reading

Most Read