Protesters Decry U.S. Border Patrol Policy

Separation of parents from children at border the issue.

Kevin Killeen
June 14, 2018 - 2:46 pm

Credit: Kevin Killeen, KMOX News

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Nine-year-old Vincent Munderwiller of Chesterfield wants to know, why?

Standing before a crowd of more than a hundred demonstrators on the Old Court House steps in downtown St. Louis, Munderwiller took the bullhorn and spoke.

"Why do kids have to suffer this? Everywhere. Why? And the answer will never come," he said, "because of Trump."

The crowd cheered.

It was part of a nationwide event with similar demonstrations planned in a hundred other U.S. cities.

Organizers are upset with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, for separating children from their alleged, illegal immigrant parents at the border.

"To tear children away from their parents just because of their undocumented status constitutes child abuse," said organizer Janine Moloff.

Moloff and others say it's time for the Missouri congressional delegation -- Democrats and Republicans -- to take a stand on the issue.

Demonstrator Ivan Martin came to the event with his wife and young grandchildren.

"They've demonized so many groups of people from the immigrant folks to the Islamic people, and that can't be our world anymore," Martin said. "That just can't be our world. It's too many beautiful things and too much potential to make it such a better world."

At one point during the demonstration, a U.S. Parks Department official in uniform came out on the steps to tell the crowd that usually they need a permit to have a gathring with more than 20 people.

The crowd jeered and booed him.

In view of the circumstances, he said he would make an exception, and asked them to please keep a path open so that other people arriving to attend a naturalization ceremony could get in.

At that point, a man in a suit and tie came out of the Old Court House and told the crowd that the people getting naturalized were "becoming citizens the legal way," and that the demonstrators were spoiling it for them.

The crowd booed him and he went back inside.