About 150 people gathered in downtown Vancouver on Saturday to protest the United States’ “Zero Tolerance” policy of migrant detention and child separation of illegal border-crossers.
Demonstrators gathered at the U.S. consulate for speeches, before taking to the streets to march on Trump Tower.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week ending the policy of separating children from their parents at the border, however, the policy of detaining and deporting migrants remains in place.
More than 2,000 children have already been separated from their parents, and kept in conditions that critics have described as “baby jails.”
The Department of Homeland Security says 522 children have been reunited with their families.
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Rally co-organizer Samantha Monckton said the Zero Tolerance policy is unacceptable.
“We have to stand up to this, we can’t put kids in cages, we can’t put families in cages. It’s ridiculous,” she said.
“If we just accept this stuff lying down … we’re not. We stand to this. And we’re going to stand up to Trump, and we’re going to stand up as a country against this.”
Demonstrators are also taking aim at Canadian policies around migration.
Protesters claim that more than 45,000 migrants have been arrested in the last six years. The Canada Border Services Agency data shows that at least 300 minors have been detained in the last two years.
The demonstrators also want to see Canada withdraw from the Safe Third Country agreement, which requires that refugees claim asylum in the first “safe” country they arrive in.
“The States is not a safe place to go,” said Monckton.
“So it’s bogus. We need to do better in terms of creating safer places in Canada as well, but the U.S. is not a safe place to go.”
The rally was organized by group March on Vancouver, and is one of 16 taking place in Canada, and dozens scheduled across the U.S. on Saturday.