AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– More than 100 people gathered outside the ICE Detention Center in Aurora on the Fourth of July to protest immigration issues, specifically parents being separated from their children at the U.S. border.
The protesters said they were there to denounce the U.S. government’s actions on Independence Day.
Armed guards openly carrying rifles watched over the rally. They are members of what’s called the John Brown Gun Club also called the “Redneck Revolt,” an anti-white supremacist group. They sympathize with the demonstrators.
This protest also called for reunification of parents separated from their children when arrested.
Last month, more than four dozen parents whose children have been taken away from them while crossing the U.S. border from Mexico were being held at a detention facility in Colorado.
Scott Dewey and his wife want to be reunited with their informally adopted Romanian son. They posted a sign justice for “Cracion.” He was deported two years ago on this day.
“Simply on suspicion, unfounded, his visa was denied and he will likely never be able to receive another visa because has deportation on his record,” Dewey told CBS4’s Rick Sallnger.
“It’s really been devastating and had a large trauma in his life. He has three older siblings here that incorporated him,” Melanie Dewey said.
Barred from the U.S., but as a Romanian part of the European Union, he is now living in England. By video, he said what he went through was a bad experience.
His deportation was during the Obama administration. His adoptive mother Melanie says there’s little hope of getting him back now.
“I just think the spirit of the country is so different now. There is so much division and hatred towards immigrants.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities confirmed that about 50 parents are being held at the GEO-run facility in Aurora. That number had dropped this week.
Where their young ones are living is still not necessarily clear.
Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican representing the 6th Congressional District which includes Aurora and Adams County, said on Tuesday there are now 42 parents being held at the center who have been separated from their children.
The protesters had armed guards protecting them outside the ICE facility.
More than 2,000 children have been held at the various centers around the country. Now, they are to be reunited with their parents under an executive order signed by Pres. Donald Trump in June.