Houstonians head to border to protest separation of immigrant families

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Nearly 300 people are on their way to Brownsville to protest the separation of immigrant families at the border.

They will join a number of other protesters already there who want to see children out of detention centers in the Rio Grande Valley and reunited with their families.

There are still about 2,000 kids in custody.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in California ruled that children separated from their families must be reunited with them within 30 days.

Children under five must be reunited with their parents within 14 days.

The Health and Human Services inspector general has launched an investigation into the conditions at shelters for migrant children after allegations of abuse and mismanagement.

On Thursday morning, protesters with the ACLU of Texas and the Houston Women's March plan to rally across the street from the federal court where immigrants are being prosecuted for crossing the border into the United States and then separated from their children.

Protesters left at 5 a.m. for the rally, which begins at 11 a.m.

"I'm very happy to see all of these people. Diversity and unity, that's how we're going to get to where we need to be. No one is going to come and do this for us. We need to do this for ourselves," said protester Mona Jessi Cartwright.

"I think just being part of the movement and being around people that are like-minded for justice is really empowering. We're not helpless. We can yield our power as the people to do something for these kids," added protester Sana Shahid.

The protesters will return to the Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church in the Heights at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

First Lady Melania Trump is also expected to return to the border Thursday after traveling to immigration centers in McAllen last week.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence will meet with the leaders of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, where most of the immigrants coming to America are from.

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