Protesters march against Trump's immigration policy

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Brian Ries, CNN

Updated 4:23 PM ET, Sat June 30, 2018
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12:37 p.m. ET, June 30, 2018

Alicia Keys and America Ferrera read letters from families separated from children

Singer Alicia Keys and actress America Ferrera, speaking at the rally in Washington, DC, read letters from a mother and grandfather who were separated from their children.

Keys brought her 7-year-old son Egypt to the march and shared her frustration over family separations. She read a letter from a mother whose son is being held in a facility in Oregon.

"I couldn't even imagine not being able to find him," she said. "I couldn't imagine being separated from him or scared about how he is being treated. So this is all of our fight. Because if it can happen to any child, it can happen to my child and your child and all of our children." 

Ferrera, whose parents are Honduran immigrants, read the story of a grandfather who is hoping to be reunited with his granddaughter. She encouraged the crowd to listen to his words and imagine themselves in his situation.

"This fight does not belong to one group of people, one color of people, one race of people, one gender. It belongs to all of us," she said. "What makes humans remarkable is our capacity to imagine. We have an imagination. Let's use it."

12:19 p.m. ET, June 30, 2018

Chicago protester: "We're in a a battle for the soul of the country"

Crowds of protesters are rallying in Chicago to protest President Trump's immigration policies. It's an exceptionally hot summer day, and many of the demonstrators have clustered in the shade of trees as they wait to start their march.

One protester described what's happening with the immigration debate as "a battle for the soul of the country."

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12:08 p.m. ET, June 30, 2018

This Knoxville family wants the White House to know they "really do care"

From CNN's Mallory Simon

This family traveled from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Washington, DC, to visit the White House, but they were denied.

So they decided to march and deliver this message: "I really do care, do you?"

Mike Ickowitz, 39, said he believes Melania Trump's jacket was deliberate, so he and family are "sending one right back." (The first lady wore a jacket with the words "I really don't care. Do u?" on the back before as she boarded a plane to tour an immigrant children's shelter.)

They tried to explain to their kids what was going on, so they can "imagine what it would be like if they were taken from us."

"We wanted to explain to them we can't take our freedom for granted," Tanya Ickowitz said.

She said as people of privilege, "we have to speak for the marginalized" people.

12:05 p.m. ET, June 30, 2018

"Hamilton" creator sings a lullaby for parents who can't sing to their separated kids

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway musical "Hamilton," just sang a lullaby to a crowd of protesters gathered in Washington, DC.

"We're here because there's parents right now who can't sing lullabies to their kids. And, well, I'm just going to sing a lullaby that I wrote and this is for those parents. And we're not going to stop until they can sing them to their kids again," he said. 

He went on to sing "Dear Theodosia," a lullaby from "Hamilton."

Watch the moment:

11:57 a.m. ET, June 30, 2018

Kennedy vows to fight Trump's immigration policies

Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a Democrat from Massachusetts, addressed a crowd of protesters in Boston.

Kennedy vowed to fight Trump administration's immigration policies, saying the US will not accept "children locked in those cages."

"We stand up and we say: Not on our watch. Not while we have something to say about it. Not while you will hear our voices and see our signs. Not while we can march. Not while we can protest. Not while we will stand up and say to the people of Boston and Massachusetts and the United States and around the world with nearly 650 gatherings just like this one around the planet today they with will stand up and fight for our humanity and the humanity of our neighborhood. 

He added: "We will win. We will win. It might not be today, but it will be tomorrow. We will win. Thank you for being here. Stand up, speak out, keep fighting."

11:44 a.m. ET, June 30, 2018

Democratic senator: "This moment is a moral crisis for our country"

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, speaking to demonstrators in Boston, criticized President Trump for his immigration policies and called for an overhaul of the US immigration system.

"This is ugly, this is wrong, and this is not the way to run our country," the Massachusetts lawmaker said. "The President's deeply immoral actions have made it obvious we need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom starting by replacing ICE with something that reflects our morality and values."

"This moment is a moral crisis for our country," she said.

Warren recently visited a processing center in McAllen, Texas. After touring the immigration facility, she described the scene as a "disturbing picture."

"They are all on concrete floors in cages," she said. "There is just no other way to described it."

11:41 a.m. ET, June 30, 2018

She wants to know "if these children lived in my uterus, would y'all start caring"

MacKenzie Banks, 19, of Lubbock, Texas, had a question for the administration: "If these children lived in my uterus, would y'all start caring."

"I am protesting in DC today because I cannot turn a blind eye to the clear human rights abuses brought forth by this administration.

"They deserve to be held accountable for the atrocities they are committing against our brothers and sisters."
11:31 a.m. ET, June 30, 2018

These children wrote letters to kids separated from their families

At the protest in Washington, four kids read letters they wrote to detained children who have are separated from their families.

"You haven’t gotten to see much of America yet, but there are so many different types of people in America. I really hope you and everyone else get free, and live a happy, playful life like a kid should," one girl read. "People may argue that there are good reasons for us, but there are not. There isn’t even one good reason. Me and my mom won’t stop protesting until everything is right."

Another girl had this message for children at the border:

"Dear friend, I wish I could meet you, and help you to follow your dreams, because that is something no one can take it away from you," the girl read.

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11:14 a.m. ET, June 30, 2018

Trump’s not at the White House today. Protesters are rallying anyway.

Protesters in Washington, DC, have gathered near Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House, to protest President Trump's immigration policy.

But the President won't see the protests first hand: He's in New Jersey at his golf property in Bedminster.

That hasn't deterred the thousands of people attending the rally. Some have come from California, Colorado and Alabama to protest in the nation's capital.

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