Protesters demand Graham act against child detention centers at border

Protesters demand Graham act against child detention centers at border

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Protesters gathered outside Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Mount Pleasant office Tuesday demanding the closure of child detention centers.

The protest in the Charleston area is part of a national day of action of '"Close the Camps" protests in response to reported conditions in the child detention centers along the border.

“A lot of people care about what’s happening to our country and a lot of people care about what is happening to these immigrants they are seeking asylum they should be treated not as criminals, but as people who want to be part of our democracy," protester, Stanton Goldberg said.

Protesters want Graham to close the camps and refuse to authorize funding for deportations.

“We were on vacation and saw all the advertisements for the protest and want to make sure that our voices were heard and that lawmakers see that we’re not going to stand for putting kids in camps and cages," protester Bebe Rodii said.

Over the weekend, reports circulated claiming dangerous overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and migrant deaths.

Protester Sydney Van Bulck sat outside of Graham’s office in a dog crate to prove a point.

“There’s a very small minority of people who support this initiative and America does not stand behind separating families, putting children in cages and generally being inhumane to people who look different from us," Van Bulk said.

President Donald Trump signed a $4.6 billion aid package Monday to help the federal government cope with the surge of Central American immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump expressed satisfaction with the bill, but made clear he was dissatisfied with the state of illegal immigration in the United States. He suggested he would continue with plans for a nationwide immigration sweep to deport people living the United States illegally, including families.

“The other kids aren’t getting a vacation so it’s the least we can do is take some time out of our day to give them a voice,” Rodii said.

The deputy commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection says everyone in custody has access to fresh water and consumables.

Officials with Senator Lindsey Graham’s Office says he is working to force migrants from risking their lives on a dangerous 1,000 mile journey and coming to the United States. They say Graham believes their petitions for asylum should be filed in their home countries or Mexico, not the United States.

Copyright 2019 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.