Lexingtonians filled the Fayette Circuit Courthouse square downtown on Saturday to voice their opposition to the separation of migrant families at the border.
With children happily playing in the water fountain behind the stage, hundreds gathered with a single message for lawmakers in Washington: “Families belong together.”
Speakers at the rally, hosted by the Kentucky chapter of the National Organization for Women, included Democratic state Sen. Reggie Thomas, members from the faith community, local acitvists, and Paola Garcia, a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient who was brought to the U.S. when she was two.
As an undocumented immigrant accustomed to living in legal limbo, Garcia said watching the nonstop news coverage of the Trump administration’s "zero tolerance" policy was especially painful.
"I don't understand, especially with the children," she told WUKY. "When I see the posts on Facebook, when I see the kids in the cages, I see my little sisters."
Many demonstrators hoisted signs accusing the White House of enacting racist policies while others donned jackets similar to the controversial one worn by First Lady Melania Trump as she boarded a plane to head to detention center in Texas – only with messages like “We should all care” and “November is coming.”
The rally took place without any apparent counter-protest following a week of intense media attention and nationwide outcry over the treatment of immigrants illegally crossing the border, including those seeking asylum.
Lexington’s event was one many rallies held under the same banner across the country.