Grandparents from all over the country are road-tripping to a Texas border city this weekend to protest the Trump administration’s treatment of migrant children and their families.
The grandparents, who are calling themselves Grannies Respond, will gather at Archer Park in McAllen, Texas on Monday for “24 hours of action and service,” according to their Facebook page.
“We are grannies on a mission,” says the Grannies Respond website. “We will not be quiet while little ones are crying alone without the love of a parent to soothe them. We will not remain idle while tent cities are built to indefinitely detain families seeking safe haven in our country.”
This spring, the Trump administration began routinely separating parents and children who were allegedly attempting to cross into the United States from Mexico illegally. Between April 19 and May 31 alone, the U.S. Border Patrol seized nearly 2,000 children, according to government statistics. The kids, some of them still in diapers, were locked up in large metal cages in makeshift detention centers along the border before being shipped to shelters around the country. Their parents were locked up in other facilities to await prosecution and deportation.
In June, a public outcry prompted Trump to change course. Migrant families attempting to cross the border illegally would still be detained, he announced, but they wouldn’t be separated. Meanwhile, a federal judge gave the administration 30 days to reunite the parents and children who’d already been split up.
That deadline has passed, but roughly 600 children are still separated from their parents, according to recent news reports.
Grannies Respond chose McAllen for the protest because hundreds of migrant families were separated at the massive Border Patrol station there.