Eight rallies in Montana Saturday will be part of nationwide events taking aim at the Trump administration's immigration policy of separating children from their families.
Rebecca Weston is with Montanans For Immigrant Justice and is helping organize a Families Belong Together rally in Missoula.
“We’re trying to continue the process of developing people’s awareness, developing a way to address misconceptions about immigration and develop a movement to protect human rights,” Weston says.
Under an initial version of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, more than 2,000 children were separated from their families after crossing the U.S. Mexico border illegally.
Weston says the Missoula rally is in line with the national message of reuniting children with their families, but it's also intended to start conversation on the broader policy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE.
“That’s another aspect of our work. To sort of address the racial profiling and deeper intrusion of ICE into our state and into our state and local institutions,” Weston says.
The New York Times reported in May that Border Patrol officials in Havre had asked for proof of identification from two Mexican-American U.S. citizens because they spoke Spanish.
In Montana, Families Belong Together rallies are planned in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, Libby, Livingston and Missoula.
Weston says participants in Missoula will march through downtown to the courthouse where speakers will address the crowd.
Saturday’s rally in Missoula starts at 10 a.m. at the Clark Fork River Market.