An estimated 200-some people gathered outside Lancaster County Courthouse Saturday morning as part of a Families Belong Together protest that took place in hundreds of communities nationwide.
President Trump has signed an executive order to end forced separations, but major questions remain to be resolved, and hundreds of immigrant families have yet to be reunited.
Participants held a variety of signs and chanted such slogans as “Reunite families now,” “Remember in November” and “Vote, vote, vote,” drawing a recurring chorus of honks from passing motorists.
The crowd was largely middle-aged or older, but there were some younger participants.
Among those were Leola resident Stephanie Cole, 36, and her four children ages 1 to 10, one holding a sign she said he made himself that read, “Kids need their parents.”
“If somebody took one of my kids, I would hope people would be out on the streets for me,” she said.
Bill Swope, 72, of Peach Bottom, said he considers the zero-tolerance policy that resulted in the separations to be “very bad, to the level of abusive.”
Dawn Ranck-Hower, 52, is pastor of New Holland Mennonite Church, where she said more than 100 children attend its early learning center.
She keeps thinking of the impact this issue could have on children like them, she said, and “it breaks my heart.”
Organizer Mimi Shapiro, 71, of Lancaster, said, “Maybe it will bring people out in November to vote and say this is not who we are; we don’t want this.”