Protesters gather for Atlanta's 'Families Belong Together' rally

- Protesters from around Georgia gathered in front of the Atlanta City Detention Center Saturday morning for a rally to speak out against what's happening at the border.

The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and the Asian-Latino Caucus hosted the "Families Belong Together Atlanta Rally."

Friday, the groups held a news conference in regards to President Donald Trump's controversial policies in place at the border, which are separating families.

Some state representatives say children should not be separated from their parents under such circumstances.

"This is a horrific practice that violates human rights values and also our social code," Rep. Park Cannon said. "While there are no plans to reunite the children who have already been taken from their families, we stand together to say families belong together."

The protest is part of a nationwide day of protest in which activists plan to rally in hundreds of cities.

Though many who show up will be seasoned anti-Trump demonstrators, others will be new to immigration activism, including parents who say they feel compelled to show up after heart-wrenching accounts of children forcibly taken from their families as they crossed the border illegally. In Portland, Oregon, for example, several stay-at-home moms have organized their first rally while caring for young kids.

"I'm not a radical, and I'm not an activist," said Kate Sharaf, a Portland co-organizer. "I just reached a point where I felt I had to do more."

Immigrant advocacy groups say they're thrilled -- and surprised -- to see the issue gaining traction among those not tied to immigration.

"Honestly, I am blown away. I have literally never seen Americans show up for immigrants like this," said Jess Morales Rocketto, political director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which represents nannies, housekeepers and caregivers, many of whom are immigrants. "We just kept hearing over and over again, if it was my child, I would want someone to do something."

Saturday's rallies are getting funding and support from the American Civil Liberties Union, MoveOn.org, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and The Leadership Conference. But local organizers are shouldering on-the-ground planning, many of them women relying on informal networks established during worldwide women's marches on Trump's inauguration and its anniversary.

Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, welcomed interest in the immigration system and said only Congress has the power to change the law.

"We appreciate that these individuals have expressed an interest in and concern with the critical issue of securing our nation's borders and enforcing our immigration laws," Houlton said. "As we have indicated before, the department is disappointed and frustrated by our nation's disastrous immigration laws and supports action."

Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to show his support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement amid calls from some Democrats for major changes to immigration enforcement.

Tweeting from New Jersey, Trump said that Democrats "are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen." He urged ICE agents to "not worry or lose your spirit."

Atlanta's Families Belong Together Rally will be held at 10 a.m. outside the Atlanta City Detention Center.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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