SAN DIEGO — As immigrant communities across the country brace for Sunday’s anticipated raids by ICE, activists in various cities, including San Diego, joined together Friday to protest the treatment of immigrants and their children being held in detention centers.
In San Ysidro, hundreds turned out to march with a message - asking for an end to migrant detention facilities.
“There was national call for demonstrations around the country. What is happening to them is child abuse. What is happening to them is horrific. They are being kidnapped. They are being taken from family members,” said Sue Alderson, co-founding member of the Immigrant Justice League.
Alderson led a rally at the Civic Center in Oceanside in addition to the one at San Ysidro. The demonstrations were part of a bigger movement by critics who said those detained are living in inhumane conditions and are being denied proper medical care.
A new report by the House Oversight Committee showed that children are being held in government custody for an average of 90 days and more than 21 spent a year in detention separated from their families.
“We are turning around and looking at this insanity and the inhumanity and the trauma that is being caused to these children,” said Alderson.
Ahead of the rallies, Vice-President Mike Pence on Friday was in McAllen, Texas, defending the care at the detention facilities.
"Each and every one of the children, each and every one of the parents told me they were being treated well," he said.
The president also spoke out and defended Sunday’s expected ICE raids – which will target thousands of migrants who have received a final deportation notice form a judge after being released from custody.
Ten cities have been targeted, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“My sense is that the number of people asked to be deported does not merit the kind of terror and havoc that this administration is wreaking across the country,” said Alderson.