Religious leaders and community members protest Trump’s immigration policy

OAK PARK, Ill. — The head of Paso, West Suburban Action Project joined other religious leaders and members of the community to protest the president's latest moves on immigration.

Inside Unity Temple in Oak Park, people across all faiths gathered to focus on advocating for immigrant rights.

"It feels like every day we're handed down more policies of hate towards our immigrant communities and communities of color from this administration," Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Director of Paso, said.

The Department of Homeland Security announced new rules Wednesday that put migrant children in the middle of the debate over how to stop the flow of immigrants at the southern border.

Under the policy, the U.S. would withdraw from the Flores settlement agreement, which requires U.S. officials to remove migrant children from non-licensed facilities within 20 days and, instead, requiring minors to stay with parents in licensed facilities or ICE custody while parents await hearings.

Critics said the new rules amount to indefinite detention for children as immigration and asylum hearings could last several months.

Speakers, political activist and Harvard Professor Dr. Cornel West also discussed the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. They feel President Trump's actions and rhetoric have fueled violence against minorities.

"Mr. President, if you want to make America great, it's not by spewing hateful rhetoric," Greater St. John Bible Church Rev. Ira Acree said. "It's by dispersing love. You want to make America great? It's not about building a wall, but by building a bridge. It's not about dividing, but unifying."

The new immigration detention policy could take effect as soon as late October, but legal challenges are expected.

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