SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of people gathered at San Jose City Hall Thursday night to protest the separation of children from their parents along the US border.
People joined rallies across the country today for the same purpose.
"I work with children, I work with adolescents, with kids in the foster care system so I know what this kind of trauma can do to people and is doing to people," said organizer Heather Valentine.
Valentine said when she learned just days ago that there wasn't a rally planned locally she knew it was up to her.
"I just felt if I don't do it who is going to do it," she explained.
Valentine arranged for speakers to share their stories.
19-year-old Ana-Maria Vazquez said she felt empowered.
"I do come from a family that came here undocumented. I remember those fears when I was younger if we spoke up we'd be risking deportation. If it wasn't our parents it could be our uncles," said Vazquez.
"It really truly is of biblical proportions of destruction of families," said Father Jon Pedigo of Catholic Charaties of Santa Clara
Father Pedigo said the crowd was filled with allies.
"A lot of people that are directly affected are fearful, they're afraid to come out, they're staying in their homes, they're getting their neighbors, teachers, to walk their children back home from school," said Pedigo.
Families Belong Together also hosted a virtual event for people to sign petitions and contact their elected officals if they could not attend one of today's rallies.