Hundreds protest Trump's family separation policy in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As the outrage over the Trump Administration's family separation policy continues to grow, several protests took place across the country Tuesday, including one in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco, where hundreds of demonstrators came out.

Since the "zero tolerance" immigration policy was put into effect, more than 2,300 undocumented children have been separated from their parents at the southern border. Many of these families come from countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, where the murder rate and gang activity is high.

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"They're not coming for a picnic, they're not coming because they think can pull one over on us," said El Cerrito resident Liz Ozselcuk, who attended the protest in San Francisco. "Nobody travels all that distance, and goes through all that, if they're not desperate."

Some members of the administration have said the policy is being used to help deter illegal immigration, but law experts say it likely won't make much of a difference.

"You have the group of people who are willing to die to take the very arduous, very dangerous journey up from those countries into the United States," said Deep Gulasekaram, Santa Clara University law professor.

Tuesday morning, State Attorney General Xaxier Becerra joined 20 other Attorneys General from throughout the U.S. in calling for the justice department to put an end to the practice, saying in part: "This is a new low for President Trump. We must do everything in our power to uphold America's values and the rights of children not to be forcibly separated from their parents."

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A letter signed by 12 Republican senators Tuesday afternoon was sent to U-S Attorney General Jeff Sessions, urging him to stop the separation policy until Congress can pass legislation that would keep families together.

"The United States Constitution has as one of its underlying principles the notion of family integrity and family unity, and to pull a child away from their parents without an extremely high justification is unconstitutional, and is likely to be found so, if challenged in court," said Gulasekaram.

The House is expected to vote on two immigration bills this week, both of which will address family separation.

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