Women came together Friday to nurse their babies downtown as part of a protest of family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The "Keep Families Together" Nurse-In was put on by Independent Indivisible and Together We Will on Front Street in San Diego.
“We’re here to show solidarity with families that are fleeing violence to seek a better future for their children,” said Rebecca Fielding-Miller, an activist, and mother to 9-month-old Esther.
Nursing mothers and their infants gathered in front of the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building on Front Street in opposition to the Trump administration policy of removing migrant children from parents seeking asylum in the United States.
The activists were demanding the immediate reunification of parents with 2,300 children. They also called for accountability for human rights violations.
Speakers included mothers, a pediatrician and faith leaders. Songs of peace were sung and protesters held up signs.
This week, many were shocked to hear of President Donald Trump's order to stop separating migrant children from their parents. Officials worked to come up with an overall plan to reunite families while sending conflicting signals about the state of the administration's "zero tolerance" policy.
“I know that theoretically this policy has been reversed in the last couple days,” said Fielding-Miller. “But we know there is no plan for reunification of 2,300 children that are currently scattered across the U.S.”
However, parents who remained locked up struggled to get in touch with children being held hundreds of miles away, in many cases. Some said they didn't even know where their children were. Others said they had been deported without them.
A senior Trump administration official said that about 500 of the more than 2,300 children taken from their families at the border in recent weeks have been reunited since May.
There were also signs that the administration is dialing back, for now at least, its "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting all adults caught crossing into the U.S. illegally.
The federal public defender's office for the region that covers El Paso to San Antonio said Thursday that the U.S. Attorney's Office would be dismissing cases in which parents were charged with illegally entering or re-entering the country and were subsequently separated from their children.
"Going forward, they will no longer bring criminal charges against a parent or parents entering the United States if they have their child with them," wrote Maureen Scott Franco, public defender for the Western District of Texas, in an email shown to the Associated Press.