Dem leads protests outside tent city holding migrant children

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) led a protest Sunday outside a tent city in Tornillo, Texas, that houses migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Hundreds gathered for the protests on Father’s Day near El Paso, less than 24 hours after O’Rourke called for people to take action, the Dallas Morning News reported.

"We decided there wouldn't be a more powerful way to spend Father's Day than with children who have just been taken from their fathers, children who have been taken from their mothers, children who won't be able to be with their family," O’Rourke said, according to the Texas Tribune.

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The Democrat, who is challenging Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenators push to clear backlog in testing rape kits Russia raises problems for GOP candidates Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate MORE (R-Texas) in the upcoming midterm elections, said that about 200 children are currently being held in the facility. He added that 20 percent of the children housed there had been separated from their parents.

"We would like to think, and we try to tell ourselves, this is not America, this is not us, this is not what we do," O’Rourke said at the protest. "But ladies and gentleman, at this moment, this is America, this is us, this is what we are doing."

Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyTop Dem lawmaker pushing committee for closed-door debrief with Trump’s interpreter Dem rep knocks Trump’s credibility: ‘Would' versus 'wouldn't' is a ‘pretty big deal’ Hoping to catch fire, House Dems eye White House MORE III (D-Mass.) was also at the protest, as well as other notable Democrats from the state, including Texas gubernatorial nominee Lupe Valdez (D) and Veronica Escobar, the Democratic nominee for O’Rourke’s seat.

The Trump administration implemented a “zero tolerance” policy at the border earlier this year, prosecuting anyone apprehended illegally crossing the border.

Migrant children and parents are separated and prosecuted separately.

The policy dividing the immigrant families has faced major backlash, including from first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpFirst lady listens to students discuss online civility Trump to visit Andrews to receive body of fallen secret service member The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE previously called the policy “horrible” but has called on Democrats to change the measure.

Senate Democrats introduced a bill earlier this month to stop the policy.