Tens of thousands of people across the US have taken to the streets to protest against Donald Trump‘s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
Crowds marched in cities from Washington DC to Los Angeles in opposition to the separation of children from their parents at the border with Mexico.
More than 750 events across all 50 states were planned by organisers under the slogans “Families Belong Together” and “Freedom for Immigrants”.
The common chant at many of the protests was “Shame!”
“If it can happen to any child, it can happen to my child, and your child, and all of our children,” singer Alicia Keys told the main rally of about 30,000 people in Washington
As demonstrators marched from Lafayette Square to the White House they booed the Trump hotel, waved signs reading “Resist” and shouted “Hey, hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go”.
Others declared “I really do care, do u?” in response to the jacket worn by Melania Trump during a trip to the border last week.
The First Lady baffled observers by wearing a Zara jacket emblazoned with the phrase, “I really don’t care, do u?” following a visit to a child detention centre.
Protesters also gathered outside the golf resort where the president is spending the weekend, in Bedminster, New Jersey. Their placards included “Do you know where our children are?” and “Even the Trump family belongs together.”
In New York City demonstrators chanted “shame” and “shut detention down” as they prepared to march across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, speaking at a rally in Boston, Massachusetts, called for children and parents to be quickly reunited, adding: “This is about children held in cages. This is about mamas who want their children back.”
The crowd in Alburquerque, New Mexico, roared as mayor Tim Keller, a Democrat, shouted: “We are here to push back, to resist.”
“You don’t have to be a parent to be outraged,” said Melissa Myers, a nurse, at a rally in Columbus, Ohio. “You just have to be a decent human being.”
At Dallas city hall in Texas they shouted “We care!” and held up signs reading “Compassion not cruelty”, “Vote”, and “November is coming”, while in Houston they chanted “No baby jails” outside City Hall.
The singer John Legend urged protestors in Los Angeles to take action, adding: “You can’t just talk about it or tweet about it. You’ve got to do something.”
His wife, the former model Christine Teigen, addressed the same crowd while holding her newborn baby to her chest, later posting a photo on Instragram with the caption “baby’s first rally #keepfamiliestogether”
A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on Jun 30, 2018 at 12:33pm PDT
The protesters’ demands included the reunion of separated migrant families, an end to family detentions and an end to the zero tolerance policy.
Last week Mr Trump attempted to head off a mounting crisis by signing an executive order declaring that families should be kept together.
However 17 US states and Washington DC have filed a lawsuit to force the Trump administration to reunite approximately 2,000 separated children with their parents.
They argued that the president’s executive order did not end the zero tolerance policy and only made a “vague” declaration to maintain family unity.
Administration officials previously admitted they had not formulated a plan for how to reunite children with their parents, amid reports some as young as five were being made to represent themselves in court.
Mr Trump has not directly responded to the protests but earlier tweeted his support for “the great and brave men and women of ICE”, a reference to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
He also took time to promote a book written by his former press secretary Sean Spicer, who resigned on 21 July last year in protest at the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Mr Scaramucci was fired 10 days later.
Additional reporting by agencies