Streets of downtown Flint packed for "Families Belong Together" rally

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FLINT (WJRT) - (06/30/2018) - With Immigration still a hot button topic across the nation, many people in Genesee County organized this afternoon, to have their voices heard about those families being separated.

Over 600 hundred cities across the US participated in "Families Belong Together" rallies on Saturday.
And Flint was no different as hundreds gathered to share their thoughts on the topic.

"It's inhumane to separate a child from their parent we already know that, a psychologist will tell you that," said Victoria Arteaga, one of the protestors in attendance.

Since May 1 this year, more than 2000 immigrant children have been split up from their parents.
Videos and images of those children being cages have been shared by media across the nation. And people are upset.

"It's a monstrous act to rip children away from their families," said Dan Chapman, host of the event.

"It's just sad, really sad. People have to stand up," said Tim Shoski of Goodrich.

But like nearly all controversy not everyone feels the same.

"We're not anti-immigrant but what we're saying is there's a legal way to enter the country and there’s an illegal way to enter this country," said Christopher Ascenci of Flint. "We're here to support the president of the United States and his job that he has to enforce the laws that are on the book."

Ascenci and his longtime friend Darren Mahon, both veterans of the United States Army chose to use their first amendment rights and speak on their own beliefs in downtown Flint Saturday afternoon.

But many involved in the rally Saturday carried signs targeting President Trump, singling him out as a problem.

"He's done nothing to try to cross the polarization to cross the divide, he's only increased it," said John Griffin of Goodrich.

For those against the rally, they weren't quite sure why it was even being held.

“If you have your kids with you and you break a law and they have to detain you, you're going to be separated from your kids,” said Mahon. “It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from and where you're at.”

Chapman hosted the rally because he saw hundreds of other cities, and dozens in Michigan on the list to participate and he felt Flint had to be a part of it. He also said he welcomes those with opposite views because that's what makes America special.

"They have every right to have their opinions and to believe what they believe. Beliefs are a hard thing to change."

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