July 19th, 2014
04:05 PM ET
4 years ago

Protestors vent anger at 'alien invasion' of U.S. in 2-day nationwide protests

Washington (CNN) – They're mad as hell and don't want to take it anymore.

Amid the surge of unaccompanied immigrant children illegally crossing into the U.S. along the southern border, some Americans are venting their anger in the streets on Friday and Saturday, calling it an "alien invasion" of the U.S. and warning of a national security and "health and safety concern."

"It is a sad state of affairs for those kids," one protester said. "But it's not our job to take care of them."

Throngs of Americans are participating in a so-called "National Day of Protesting Against Immigration Reform, Amnesty & Border Surge."  An announcement lists events in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia over the two days.

On Friday in Kansas City, Missouri, protesters held aloft signs that read: "Stop Illegal Alien Invasion" and "Strengthen our Borders."

"They need to clean our country up and get back to the original version of what our country was," one man told a KMBC reporter. Elsewhere in the city, a woman said to a KCTV reporter: "We cannot be…babysitters of the world."

In Birmingham, Alabama, protesters decried "amnesty," as one of them warned about the dangers of allowing illegal immigrants into the U.S.

"Other countries seem to be able to close their borders, but we aren't," she told a WBMA reporter. "It's a national security [problem] and it's also a health and safety concern as well."

And in Rockwall, Texas – a Dallas suburb – the woman who said it's not America's job to care for the unaccompanied minors also told the WFAA reporter: "They need to be sent back to the countries they came from."

In a written announcement, organizers claimed the protests would amount to "the largest coordinated protest against all forms of amnesty, comprehensive immigration reform, and the government's failure to enforce immigration laws and secure our borders." There is no way to confirm the size and breadth of the protests.  While some protests will likely be large gatherings, many observed rallies appeared to have only a handful of protesters.  On its Facebook page, about 4,000 said they would be "going."

All of this amid the ongoing political debate over the humanitarian crisis. Most of the close to 60,000 children who've come to the U.S. since the beginning of this year are from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.  Many have fled violence, including rape, gang activity and drug wars.  The U.S. government has undertaken highly controversial efforts to place them in holding facilities across the country.

President Barack Obama seeks to reduce a backlog of cases overwhelming the immigration system by speeding up hearings to determine who stays and who goes.  He has asked Congress for $3.7 billion - an amount Republicans have blasted as excessive - in emergency funds to help deal with the crisis.

On Friday, the White House announced that Obama will meet with the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador next week to discuss the issue.

Meanwhile, some focused on the plight of the children. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado, said he sympathized with the nightmarish situations from which they fled and the lives they could have in the United States.

"Of any parent who would send their 7-, 8-, 10-year-old, how desperate they must be, and how dangerous it must be in terms of cartels and gang warfare, that they're sending their kids ahead to try to make a new life and try to get out of harm's way in our great country," Polis said in a Friday interview with WPTV.

When asked if he'd like to see some of the children in his district, Polis said: "I can tell you they are good kids.  They look like regular schoolkids - wanting to know what comes next, curious, excited about the adventure of it all. But at the same time you can imagine how hard it must be to be apart from your family."

Not everyone is buying that.

"Everybody's saying that they're all children. No, they're not," a woman protester told a KNXV reporter in Phoenix.

"Plus we don't know how many terrorists are coming over that border right now, either.  As a result, if we don't take action and close those borders, we are going to have many more incidents. Plus, the cost for supporting all these people."

–CNN's Tom Cohen and Matthew Hoye contributed

Filed under: Immigration • President Obama
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. T

    Large numbers of unaccompanied minors, some as young as 9 and 10 years old, are making a trek from Central America and entering the US. The government assures us that sophisticated terrorists are not able to enter.
    There are two possibilities:
    1. The government is lying, and terrorists can easily enter the US.
    2. The government is telling the truth, and stopping sophisticated terrorists but intentionally allowing hundreds of thousands of low-skilled illegal foreign nationals to enter the US.
    I vote for #2.

    July 19, 2014 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  2. whose land

    The kids coming are brave and smart than protesters. Even the rightful landowners are treated like strangers.Travel and see other places of the world.

    July 19, 2014 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. James B

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

    Emma Lazarus

    July 19, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  4. Chipster

    What would Jesus do? What would Jesus think of all the fear, hatred, and callousness toward these children. I guess the religious Right haven't given that a thought.

    July 19, 2014 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  5. Chipster

    USA: Sorry, No room in the Inn.

    July 19, 2014 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  6. Chipster

    USA: No room in the stable either.

    July 19, 2014 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. freedom

    This president has caused more people to have high blood pressure, stress-related diseases, anxiety, and death than any other president in a time of actual war – which is rapidly headed our way. He is a disgrace as a Commander-in-Chief, a president, and a man.

    July 20, 2014 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  8. conservativelady

    They will create a pandemic with their diseases we haven't seen in this country for 50 years, which neither our children or grandchildren have been vacinated against like smallpox.

    July 20, 2014 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  9. ushj

    "They need to clean our country up and get back to the original version of what our country was," one man told a KMBC reporter.

    How far back are you talking? Like... when Native Americans were the occupants...? Before or after your ancestors came over? You can pick a time in history, but any point you pick is likely to get some disagreement from some group that's been here for several generations...

    July 20, 2014 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  10. ushj

    "They need to clean our country up and get back to the original version of what our country was," one man told a KMBC reporter.

    so exactly how far back are you proposing to go? the "original" version of this country was owned by native americans. are you going to pick a point in time before or after YOUR ancestors came over? you do realize that any point in time that you pick is likely to have some group or individuals unhappy – and they've probably been here a large number of generations as well...

    July 20, 2014 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  11. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    To all the haters and protesters: There but for the grace of GOD go you.

    July 20, 2014 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  12. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Stuff Jesus said:

    My followers, when a child comes to your land seeking shelter,
    You must extend your hand,
    To block their path while chanting, "USA!"
    And carry many a misspelled sign.
    Go forth and create corporations
    They shall NOT cover birth control
    But b*ner pills are A-Okay!

    Basic Christianity, people!

    ~I agree with Matt Bors on this one ....

    July 20, 2014 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  13. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Fox and the RWNJ echo chamber have played a huge role in this influx, what with their constant lies about the freebies illegals can expect in this country (including the right to vote!). If I were a parent in Nicaragua, El Salvador or Honduras – which has the highest per capita murder rate IN THE WORLD – I'd be sending my kids north, too.

    How many of these protesters watch Fox, I wonder?

    July 20, 2014 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  14. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Here's a poll CNN should do: Ask the protesters how many of them have hired illegal aliens in the past, or patronized companies that hired them?

    While you're polling, how about asking these protesters if they think America is exceptional? Wouldn't an exceptional country find a way to help these kids who are fleeing violence and gangs? Wouldn't an exceptional country follow the law passed unanimously in 2008 and signed by GW Bush and process these children in accordance with that law?

    Wouldn't an exceptional country OK the additional funding requested by President Obama to help out the states that are seeing a 10x increase in children immigrants, thus overwhelming their resources?

    In their minds, these protesters define "exceptionalism" as the ability to look children in the face and yell, "I got mine – screw you!"

    July 20, 2014 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  15. Clay

    Send them back home to their families. We have our own children to care for. That knuckle head governor in Mass. Should let them stay in his house. They are all over the got damn place, deport them. This is one time I agree with racists.

    July 20, 2014 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  16. anthony

    tipical stupid democrats. they dont want to send the kids back but when asked if that is ok to send them to their districts , they changed the topics.I agree with the protesters, we feel very bad with all of those kids but it is not our jobs to take care them, their govt not ours. Why dont we take care our people first such as homeless and veterans? Close the borders first to stop the madness and find some kind of solution how to deal with some illegals. Give some legal status to people cross illegals but deport all of people who violated the terms of visas

    July 20, 2014 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  17. rolling_eyes

    Do you know how most native americans live? Alcoholism and suicide are rampant. At one time they were very optimistic about immigrants. Looks like history is repeating itself

    July 20, 2014 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  18. Clay

    The first saw an illegal alien 20 years ago in Kmart, I went home told my wife, now they are all over the got damn place.

    July 20, 2014 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    And I would be willing to bet all of these "God Fearing, Church Going, Americans" will attend services today where their isolationism and jingoism is reinforced by some guy whose grandparents didn't speak English.

    July 20, 2014 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  20. PaulG

    Violent illegals, why are they allowed in again?

    July 20, 2014 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  21. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    more angry old white tea partiers – funny how they think they, and no one else, are such great, patriotic Americans.

    July 20, 2014 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  22. Stuffitu

    Reading all of the news today makes a person wonder how much different they would be if we had not elected an inept,incopetent, corrupt president whose only previous job experience entailed nailing posters on telephone poles for the SEIU and bring "present" at the Illinois legislature and US Senate.

    July 20, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  23. rla

    SECURE THE BORDER AND STOP THE STUPID DEMOCRAT PLAN TO IMPORT VOTES– THAT IS WHAT IT IS ABOUT AND pummeling the middle class as they work to feed and house the welfare types!

    July 20, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  24. bf

    The cartel are firing at the border agents and now whole families are coming across the border. Who is going to protect the american people? Not Obama and the Dems. Vote them all out!

    July 20, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  25. Linda

    And our lawmakers are doing what? Is this not their job? Worst Congress ever

    July 20, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
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