The Latest: Police cite protesters blocking July 4th parade
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on border crisis (all times local):
Several dozen members of a group protesting treatment of migrants and asylum seekers have been cited after briefly interrupting a Fourth of July parade in Philadelphia.
Police say about 300 people had marched to the Independence Mall area Thursday, within sight of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, after demonstrating outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency headquarters.
Police said some members of the group briefly interrupted the Salute to America parade and 33 were detained and cited. Police said there were no injuries or property damage.
The protesters assembled by a group calling itself “Never Again is Now” were demanding closure of border detention centers and abolition of the ICE agency. Organizer Sarah Giskin said they want “safe and ethical solutions” allowing people to stay here and remain with their families.
As the crisis at the border has deepened over the last year, one group of migrants is particularly vulnerable: teen moms and pregnant girls without parents of their own.
Unaccompanied minors are held by the government until a vetted sponsor, usually a relative, can take them in while their immigration cases play out in court.
Attorneys who interviewed the teens at several government facilities recently found they lacked medical care, were afraid to speak out when their babies got sick and went weeks without being able to shower or brush their teeth.
Customs and Border Protection apprehended over 56,200 unaccompanied youths in the Southwest border from October to May. Health and Human Services officials say the agency has had about 500 teens with babies in its custody since October.