By Jeff Charles
On Saturday June 30th, leftist activists held “Families Belong Together” rallies in major cities across the nation. The rallies featured speakers and musicians who oppose the Trump administration’s immigration policies and Americans attended these events in droves
When President Trump enacted his “zero tolerance” policy regarding illegal immigrants who were attempting to cross the border, it created a national uproar. The left was quick to lambaste the White House for separating illegal immigrant parents from their children who were detained after crossing the border.
In response to the furor, the president issued an executive order mandating that the children could be detained with their parents so that they would not be separated. In response, the left decided to use Trump’s concession against him. The rallies were designed to attack the Trump administration while advocating for more relaxed border enforcement policies.
Liberty Nation attended the rally in Austin, TX to get a firsthand look. While much of what occurred at the rally involved the usual leftist appeals to emotion, some of the attendees were open to having reasonable conversations on the matter.
Protesting Border Separations
Participants at the rally protested the treatment of illegal immigrant families” at the border, but that wasn’t the end of it. They also took issue with the Trump administration’s overall approach to immigration enforcement.
Protesters displayed a plethora of signs. Here are some examples:
- “I really do care, do you?”
- “Let’s Unite “F*ck ICE”
- “Abolish ICE”
- “Everything Adolf Hitler Did In Germany Was Legal”
- “From Palestine To Mexico These Border Walls Have Got To Go!”
- “The Workers’ Struggle Has No Borders!”
A number of speakers at the rally decried the separation of families at the border. One refugee from the Congo said: “As a former refugee, I’ve seen parents separated from their children. I have seen children separated from their parents, and that’s not funny at all.”
Another speaker addressed a judge’s ruling that the Trump administration should reunite illegal immigrant parents with their children. “This week a judge demanded that children be reunified with their parents,” he said, “But let us not exhale, keeping families together in indefinite detention is a morally depraved and health-harming policy that further traumatizes these children.”
Not surprisingly, there was no mention of the victims of violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants. None of the speakers discussed people who are subject to human trafficking and modern slavery in the United States. Apparently, these individuals are not important to those that oppose the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
The Families Belong Together Rally was attended by protesters who are against separating children at the border, but who are also against detaining illegal immigrants together. So what was their solution? Some seemed to believe that an open border policy is ideal. Others favored a return to the “catch and release” policy of previous administrations.
Finding Common Ground
As you can imagine, most of the rallygoers were left-leaning individuals who oppose the Trump administration’s assertive approach towards illegal immigration. However, a man holding a sign that read “Talk with a Mexican American Conservative About Anything” was there to engage with a crowd that disagreed with him. While many of the attendees responded by yelling at him, others chose civil dialogue.
Several protesters approached this man and conversed with him about issues such as free speech, border policy, and racism. While these individuals did not approve of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, they openly acknowledged the fact that former President Barack Obama had been worse on immigration. Unlike many on the left, these folks were intellectually honest about the issue — they refused to pretend that Obama did not implement similar policies.
Moreover, a woman with whom I spoke stated that she did not believe in “porous borders.” I pointed out that while she may not favor such a policy, many others on her side wish for open borders. She did not deny this point. The fact that these people were able to speak with someone who vehemently disagreed with their stance was encouraging — it’s not something you normally see when watching reports on these types of rallies.
The “Families Belong Together” rally in Austin, TX was full of all the normal tropes you would expect at a leftist event. It included the usual anti-Trump signs, emotional speeches, and the demonization of conservatives. However, these were not the unhinged displays we are used to seeing in the media.
While there were plenty of activists toeing the Soros line, there were also individuals who genuinely wanted to see a solution to the illegal immigration issue. While they may disagree with conservatives, these people do not see their political opponents as an enemy. It demonstrates an important point: there is still room for civil political discourse.
Another important aspect to remember is that the left can still organize “grassroots” events such as these. We have already seen how quickly they can put together events like the “March For Our Lives” that empower them to influence the American public.
Conservatives should take note. Yes, we are winning when it comes to electing conservatives, but we can’t afford to neglect the culture war. The Democrats may be in disarray, but the left is still actively pursuing their agenda. When it comes to illegal immigration, conservatives must continue to convince the American public that open borders are not a viable option. The left is not going to relent in this battle. Neither should we.