SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — President Trump's zero-tolerance policy on immigration continues to spark outrage. Specifically, there's growing concern over officials separating children from their parents at the border.
East County protesters came together Sunday to share their outrage at the federal government's immigration youth shelter for boys in El Cajon.
"My wife and I have been very distraught about seeing what is happening with the policy change and treatment," said retired educator and protester David Richardson.
Large crowds also protested near the U.S.-Mexico border in rural El Paso, Texas, at a former Wal-Mart where thousands of unaccompanied minor children crossed the border illegally.
The Department of Homeland Security numbers show over a six-week period, nearly 2,000 children were separated from nearly as many adults; the overflow of children are now being housed in a so-called "tent city."
"We were told there were 98 kids in this tent city yesterday, we were told today there are 200 kids," said Beto O'Rourke, Democratic congressman from Texas. "We've all got to own this. We cannot blame this on Trump, we cannot blame this on a political party; this is America right now, and so America's gotta show up."
This week, two immigration bills are up for a vote; one calls to protect Dreamers in exchange for $24 billion to build a border wall.
President Donald Trump blamed the Democrats for separating children from their parents at the southern border tweeting, "Democrats can fix their forced family break-up at the border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change."
"I hope that Donald Trump and the Congress will come to their senses and realize that we are losing friends around the world," said Richardson.
The shelter in El Cajon where protestors rallied on Sunday houses boys ages 6 – 17 years old. A U-T reporter was reportedly given access inside and described children in classrooms or playing soccer. She said nothing struck her as strange in the facility.