July 19th, 2014
04:05 PM ET
9 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. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    These protest are just yet another example of the rampant hatred and ignorance promoted and cultivated by the gop/tea bags.

    July 20, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Thump your bibles, and speak of revolution. The more you do this, the more irrelevent you make yourselves. Apparently your view of religion stems from the book of violence and hatred. Well you can keep it.

    July 20, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Gunderson

    Trying to sell us Religion now are ye? You must be an illegal marching and screaming for Amnesty. This hoard flooding the Southern Border has killed any Immigration Reform for the next 100 years. But you can still become a U.S. citizen. Just return to your home country and get in line. Thump your Bibles, Run About, Scream and Shout, but the American People aren't going to give you Amnesty. We are going to give you the boot.

    July 20, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Look at the antiquated, white, flag waving jerk. He is what is left of the GOP. Keep up the good work fellas. You alienated the non whites, women, gays, public sector workers, students, environmentalists, and just about anyone with a brain. Keep on digging, even though you are in a hole over your heads!

    July 20, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. anonymous

    ThinkAgain – Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.
    If you don't get that, then you don't understand what God is, in my opinion.

    So says the poster with a hate filled posting name. I doubt anybody with half a brain is listening to anything you have to say about God.

    July 20, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. just asking

    do we even have a country anymore without secure borders? if millions of people, in this case kids, can simply walk into the country, do we really have a country? when the next 100 million illegals walk across the border, will we have a country then? any problem with taking in 50 million poor chinese kids? if not why not? you're not a racist are you?

    July 20, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. barky

    Freedom isnt free. Neither is the food you eat. what happened to the jfk democrats? I think theyre republicans now.

    July 20, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Are all republicans idiots? Of course they are.

    July 20, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Westboro Baptists and right wingnuts are not very Christian after all.

    July 20, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. 1twinsfan

    Yeah, USA! Get it back to what it was. Let's see, my hubby is Hispanic and Yacqui so he's always had lineage here while my family had yet to get on a boat from Ireland. I guess I have to leave. Seriously, though, the Obama administration has deported a record number of illegals and for these kids from central America, he has to follow the 2008 Bush law. I just love these folks that shout "send them Hondurans back to Mexico!"

    July 20, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. king

    i just once want to see the repubs act practical for once. why they cannot never find where the problem lies, whoes section its in, how they can work to fix it, then fix it. the problem is, the repubs doesnt want to fix nothing, because it doesnt matter if repubs have the keys or the dems have the keys, all they can see is oppotunity to sling mud at our president. they knows this immigration fix lay entirely on their repub congress, but they will never utter the word congeess fix this mess, because that will put a monkey wrench in their fake outrage and lies they love to spread. right winger would it kill you to take up your phones and call your congress person demandrt they they change the bush era law forcing the goveennent to process illegals in this country, rather than just turning them back at tge border. let me see a show of hands repub protesters who will call their congress person on this mattern. anyone anyone crickets. prove my pount.

    July 20, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. SG

    These protestors provide a good example of what lack of education does to otherwise decent people.

    July 20, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. drake mallard

    there is a difference between Illegal and Legal immigration.  All sides of the immigration debate need to recognize that distinction in order to hold productive debate.

    Hispanic Americans really only want immigration reform because they share the same ethnicity with 86% of the current illegal population.. If the current illegal population was, say, 86% Asian, African, or ( God forbid! ) European these same Hispanic Americans and La-Raza would be screaming like banshees about how illegal aliens are stealing hard working Hispanic Americans jobs and the government had better enforce the laws that protect working class citizens from illegal competition

    July 20, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Mr. Moderate

    Its an ironic cycle. The demand for drugs primarily by white, middle class suburbanites is fueling the power of these cartels who are creating a climate of fear and violence in Central America prompting the migration into the U.S. which is being protested largely by white, middle class suburbanites. Hey protestors, look to your neighbors.

    A couple of other thoughts-I assume most of these protestors believe in American exceptionalism. So why are they puzzled people are flocking here?

    Finally, given the severe threat supposedly being posed by these immigrant to out national security, shouldn't we invade those central American countries to combat the cartels? In any case, this is a bigger threat to our country than Iraq ever was.

    July 20, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. GonzoinHouston

    For the round-up-and-deport folks, a question: How much of a tax increase would you accept to pay for this effort? The biggest bottleneck in the system is the courts that must hear all these cases. I know you want to grab them and put them on a bus, but there's that pesky Constitution that says we can't do it without due process. The current backlog of deportation cases is something like 300,000 cases. We need hundreds of judges, new courtrooms and all the support staff, and that won't come cheap. How do you want to pay for it all?

    July 20, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. warthog6

    Immigration is about children, so flood our schools with gangs to sell drugs, rape kids, and murder snitches, or else you hate children.

    You don't hate children...

    ...do you?

    July 20, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Michigan patriot

    Close our borders. Its not our job to take care of these children. Remember the word ILLEGAL, it means ILLEGAL. They need to go back to their country. We have plenty of children here that need our help. Besides there are not all children, we are getting teenagers that they are already in gangs. Is that what the defenders of "these children" want? To bring all that here, plus all the other stuff they are bringing, like diseases.

    July 20, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Norma jean

    If you take the time and trouble to get to a library and read....you will find out that MOST OF lower California...Arizona ,New Mexico.Texas and more states were country belonging to Mexico in years past until it was taken away from them by .....Guess who??/!!!!!!

    July 20, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Grow up already...


    ThinkAgain – Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.
    If you don't get that, then you don't understand what God is, in my opinion.

    So says the poster with a hate filled posting name. I doubt anybody with half a brain is listening to anything you have to say about God.

    Anybody with a brain can see that getting rid of the majority of obstructionists in Congress is simply a way of getting things done, not "hate" as you suggest... Or are you projecting yet again...? Lighten up dude!

    July 20, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
1 2 3 4