Protest targets proposed Houston immigration detention center

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ABC13's Erica Simon reports from a protest near downtown Houston calling for migrant children to reunite with their parents. (KTRK)

As immigration talks heat up along the border, people are making their voices heard here in Houston.

A large crowd gathered east of downtown Thursday evening, calling for migrant children to reunite with their parents. The demonstration took place on Emancipation Avenue at the site of a proposed child detention facility.

The images of children separated at the border are what drove most of this crowd of different races and backgrounds.

"I'm a mother of four children and I can't imagine being separated from my children," said protester Terri Earles. "So I just wanted to come out and support those who are being separated from their children, with the hope that (President) Trump will do the right thing."

One counter-protester showed up, but was quickly escorted away by police when he started swearing and getting combative.

Protester Uriel Zavala is on the frontlines because, to him, it's personal. After he and his family came to the U.S. from Mexico, he became a legal resident and went on to earn a Bachelor's degree.

"Most immigrants that come here are looking for a better life," said Zavala. "They're looking for a better future for their kids, for their families. They're not criminals. They're not animals. They're not here to sell drugs. In most cases, it's poor families trying to escape violence and terror in their own countries."

From the ground to the air, you can sense the passion of the people. There will be another protest Friday at 6 p.m., which some say is further proof they mean business about what they say is decency and respect for all.

"We've reached a tipping point. Immigrants have always been second-class citizens in this country, whether or not they have papers," said protester James Marrs.

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Houston protesters take aim at proposed immigration detention center

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