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Hundreds in Dallas protest Trump admin's treatment of asylum-seekers

Hundreds in Dallas protest Trump admin's treatment of asylum-seekers
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Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside Dallas City Hall on Friday night to protest the Trump administration’s treatment of asylum-seekers in federal custody. 

The protest was one of 800 across the country that together formed a national demonstration called Lights for Liberty, which aimed to bring attention to reported overcrowding and unsanitary conditions at federal immigrant detention facilities. Similar protests were held in New York, San Diego and Washington, D.C. 

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The protest in Dallas featured local immigrants, faith leaders and activists, according to The Dallas Morning News.

“The way children and families are being treated in those camps reflects poorly on all of us, on our country,” Kelly Bryson told the news outlet. 

“If people can relate to what’s going on inside these camps and see how close they are to us, they can see the human side of things and why these camps need to be closed,” added Denise Benavides, one of the organizers of the Dallas event. 

The Trump administration has come under increased scrutiny after a Department of Homeland Security watchdog report found "dangerous overcrowding" and "prolonged detention of children and adults" at facilities in the Rio Grande Valley. Twelve people have died in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities since September.

The Trump administration has pointed to the crowded facilities as evidence of a “crisis” at the southern border and a sign that Congress must push forward with immigration reform.

“The president wanted me to come down here today to look in on how families are being treated, but also to be able to show the American people that this system is overwhelmed, it’s overcrowded and Congress has got to step up to end this crisis of illegal immigration at our southern border,” Pence told CNN in an interview Friday after viewing some facilities near the border.

Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, have also visited facilities along the border, decrying the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies and treatment of immigrants in federal custody.