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Protestors in Grand Rapids want refugee children and parents reunited

Protestors standing by podium
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Protestors standing outside of Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids

Several people in Grand Rapids protested the separation of children from their parents today.

About 150 protestors stood outside Bethany Christian Services to speak out against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In April Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy on undocumented immigrants, which caused refugee families to be split up at the country’s southern border. President Trump this week announced he'd reverse the policy, and a federal judge ordered a halt to separations -- and the reunification of families that have been separated.

Reverend Colleen Squires is one of the many clergy members who showed support for the kids who were taken from their parents. She says this issue is moral, not political.

“I think all clergy have a responsibility to be here and speak against separating children from families,” Squires said.

Bethany Christian Services has already seen as many as 94 kids who were split from their parents at the southern border of the country.

Cle Jackson, President of the Grand Rapids Chapter of the NAACP, says these children didn’t deserve any of this.

“This is inhumane, and this issue needs to be resolved and [the children] need to be resettled immediately with their families,” Jackson said.

Some local leaders sent a letter to Governor Snyder hoping that he is in solidarity with the children who have been brought here.

Thousands of children have been separated from their families in the past several weeks.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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