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.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Democrat, who is challenging Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzViral video shows O’Rourke air-drumming to the Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ after Cruz debate Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions 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 KennedyDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Ex-GOP donor urges support for Dems in midterms: 'Democracy is at stake' Joe Kennedy: Trump's math counts black and brown lives less than white lives 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 TrumpTrump Jr. to Dem Senator: 'You admitted to hitting your wife so hard it gave her a black eye!' Melania Trump's spokeswoman gets Hatch Act warning for #MAGA tweet Pamela Anderson claims she convinced Melania Trump to stop wearing fur MORE.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser 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.