Several hundred people gathered on a west side plaza last night to shout down the Trump Administration's new policy of separating illegal immigrant parents from their children when they are arrested while crossing the border, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The stage was covered with pairs of empty shoes, representing the children who have been torn away from their parents just in the past few weeks, since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new program.
Rabbi Mara Nathan of Temple Beth-El said the Jewish people, who suffered similar degradations when they arrived in the U.S. in the Twentieth Century, stand with today's immigrants.
"It is easy to forget where we came from," she said. "It is easy to remember that at some point, each one of us has been seen as 'the other'. We cannot forget. We cannot turn away."
Rabbi Nathan pointed out that children were separated from Jewish parents fleeing the Holocaust and in many cases, those children never again found their parents.
"The separation of migrant families at the border is abhorrent and cruel," she said. "The reported physical mistreatment of minors, including pregnant teens, including those who have recently given birth, as well as the separation of young children from their mothers is horrific."
The Rev. Jimmy Drennan, a Catholic priest who has long supported immigrant rights, called on the crowd to take action.
"Do not simply offer prayer but outcry," he said. "Outcry that will reach the ears of our sisters and brothers who seek justice in our nation. And we will not be silent until we change the policies that are destroying our families."