1,000 toys displayed outside Michigan church to illustrate impact of Trump's family separation policy

1,000 toys displayed outside Michigan church to illustrate impact of Trump's family separation policy
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A thousand toys have been propped on stakes outside a United Methodist church in Michigan to display the impact of the Trump administration policy that separated families who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The Detroit Free Press reported Monday that a resident, Elaine Roseborough, worked with the advocacy group, Indivisible Fighting 9, to create the display, which is on the First United Methodist Church's premises in Ferndale, Mich. 

A total of 1,000 stuffed animals and dolls were placed in a green space near the side of the church in late April. 

"The idea came up with me and some friends when this first came to light of what was happening, like most people, we were horrified by the idea of children being taken away from their parents and shipped across the country," Roseborough, 86, told the Free Press, adding that the toys were meant to convey the "enormity" of the impact the Trump administration's policy had on migrant families. 

"We felt that there needed to be something done that would raise public awareness," she continued.

Robert Schoenhals, the pastor of Ferndale's First United Methodist Church, told the newspaper that the church was extremely supportive of Roseborough and the advocacy groups efforts. 

"It's in keeping with our United Methodist beliefs [and] this particular church is very adamant for our support for immigrants' rights," Schoenhals said. 

Schoenhals also pointed out that the church is a "sanctuary" church and that it has provided temporary housing to immigrants in the past. The church isn't currently housing anyone, Schoenhals said. 

Schoenhals did not immediately respond to a request for further comment from The Hill. 

The Free Press noted that Roseborough and Indivisible Fighting 9 teamed up after Roseborough began searching for an organization that would support her idea. Indivisible Fighting 9 reportedly meets at the church where the display currently stands. 

The dolls and stuffed animals have stood outside the church for nearly three weeks. Roseborough said that the group wants to change locations soon and is looking into other possible venues to place the display. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE and his administration faced outrage from GOP and Democratic lawmakers in 2018 over a policy that resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents at the southern border. Trump signed an executive order last summer that halted the practice.