Protesters Gathered in San Ysidro as Part of 'Lights for Liberty' - NBC 7 San Diego

Protesters Gathered in San Ysidro as Part of 'Lights for Liberty'

"Its and act of terrorism against individuals," said Norma Colunga.

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    Demonstrations at the Border

    Protestors are upset over the conditions at border patrol detention centers. NBC 7's Dave Summers brings us more information. (Published Friday, July 12, 2019)

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in San Ysidro joining a string of nationwide demonstrations over conditions at border detention centers. This comes a day after Vice President Mike Pence toured the McAllen-Texas Border Station.

    People gathered Friday night at Larsen Field across from the Las Americas Premium Outlets, where they then walked a half-mile to the border station where they lit candles for those held in detention centers.

    Their voices drowned out the sounds of the busy San Ysidro border crossing. The images of dolls in cages and posters with strong messages seemed just as loud and clear.

    "It's an act of terrorism against individuals," said Norma Colunga, a protester.

    San Diego immigrant advocate groups organized this rally as part of the "Lights for Liberty" happening nationwide to protest the treatment of detainees at border crossings and migrant detention centers.

    “We’re painted as criminals, as rapists, like drug addicts, all sorts of things but there is never the mention of the contributions that this community makes,” said Colunga.

    There were images recorded at the McAllen-Texas border station during Vice President Pence’s visit Thursday.

    The press pool that was with him reported there were 400 men behind chain link fences. Reporters described the smell as “horrendous."

    They said there were no mats or pillows for sleeping.

    Border Patrol said everyone in custody was detained after crossing into the U.S. illegally.

    Vice President Pence said it illustrates the crisis at the border and how overwhelmed the system is.

    "Our community is a community of hard workers that contribute to the community and are here to give their children better life,” said Colunga.

    San Diego Police Department Capt. Manny Del Toro estimated approximately 600-700 people showed up to the rally.

    No injuries or arrests were reported.