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Rallies for immigrant families and refugees take place this week 

[UPDATED] Two events this week will give people a chance to show solidarity with immigrants and refugees.

A protest march against the Trump administration's family separation policy will take place Friday, June 22, beginning at the Liberty Pole and ending at the Federal Building (100 State Street). The march, led by Rochester City Council Vice President Adam McFadden, begins at 6 p.m.

The last week has seen an unending stream of news about the Trump administration's practice of separating children from their parents when the families cross the border illegally. Between October 1, 2017, and May 31, 2018, at least 2,700 children have been separated from their parents, according to Vox.

Immigration agencies don't have an official child separation policy per se, but the Trump administration has said it will criminally prosecute all people crossing into the country unlawfully, which means adults are sent to federal detention facilities to await hearings. Parents and their children can't be kept together in federal prison, and that's where the separation occurs. The spike in family separation has led to large child detention centers, with reports of horrifying conditions for children and panic for parents who don't know where their kids have gone.

Wednesday afternoon, Trump signed an executive order, "Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation," which said it would end family separation. So that means families will be detained together in detention facilities, but possibly for weeks or months while their cases move through the courts.

Friday morning, McFadden sent out an e-mail stressing that the protest march is still on.

“A temporary 20-day pause of the abhorrent Trump Administration Policy of separating children from their families at the Border is not a solution to the problem," McFadden said in the e-mail. "We will march tomorrow to demand that the Trump Administration expedite the process of reunifying the thousands of children and families who have already been separated. Rochester must join communities across this great country and stand up to morally bankrupt policies perpetrated by our own Federal government.”

Rochester Global Refugee Services  will hold a celebration of UN World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 23. A parade will begin at 12 p.m. at the Liberty Pole  and will proceed to City Hall.  Then, an event with speakers and performers will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Lake Avenue Baptist Church, 72 Ambrose Street. Deputy Mayor Cedric Alexander, State Senator Joe Robach, Assembly member Joe Morelle, and Brighton Supervisor Bill Moehle are scheduled to speak.

The annual UN World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 as a way to bring attention to the world's refugee crisis. There are more than 25 million refugees worldwide, the highest number since World War II. More information can be found at rocglobalrefugeeservices.org.

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