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Nationwide Rallies Call for Closure of Southern Border Camps

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Rallies are planned in more than 170 cities across the country to protest detention centers for children and family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. (John MacDonald/Flickr)
Rallies are planned in more than 170 cities across the country to protest detention centers for children and family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. (John MacDonald/Flickr)
July 2, 2019

COUER D’ALENE, Idaho — Protests against detention-center conditions for children at the U.S.-Mexico border are taking place across the country today. Pushback against the holding facilities has been growing since lawyers and doctors began making public what they saw at the camps, including lack of access to soap and basic hygiene.

One doctor compared conditions at two Texas centers to "torture facilities," according to a medical declaration obtained by ABC News. Executive director of United Vision for Idaho Adrienne Evans said outrage is growing.

"There are plenty of things that we can do in this country to have meaningful immigration reform without caging children, separating families and treating people with absolute not just disdain, but cruelty and inhumanity,” Evans said.

In Idaho, rally-goers will gather at noon at the Coeur d'Alene offices of Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch. Evans said people also can donate to Families Belong Together to ensure migrant children at the border have legal defense.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has said it's leveraging limited resources to provide the best care possible to children in these facilities.

MoveOn.org organized the protests, scheduled to take place at the offices of local members of Congress while they are home for the July Fourth holiday. The group is urging politicians to close the camps, stop investing in family detention and separation and reunite the families that have been separated.

Evans said these camps are in conflict with the ideals Americans hold on issues of human rights.

"People around the world are watching how we respond as U.S. citizens,” she said. “And every time we allow this to happen unanswered, it continues to normalize behavior that is absolutely unacceptable."

More than 170 rallies are scheduled across the country, according to the website CloseTheCampsNow.org, where more information on the protests is available.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID