Dozens Protest Family Separation Policy Outside Sen. Roy Blunt's Kansas City Office
Amid mounting public pressure over his administration's policy of separating childen and parents crossing the southern border, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the policy.
Among those applying pressure were about a hundred people who responded to a Facebook post calling on them to gather outside the office of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri.
“I am a 30-something stay-at-home mom, and I just think it’s really important that we need to keep families together," said Wendy Baird of Independence, who organized the event. "It’s just touched my heart and it was something I had to do. I couldn’t stand by and do nothing. I had to do something.”
Baird was at 10th and Walnut with her six-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter. "I thought we might get 10 or 15 people," she said.
Obviously, there were many more than that.
“I just had enough," said Jessica Piper, a high school English teacher from Maryville. "Seeing children stripped from their mothers is a tipping point. I can’t deal with that and I’ll fight back.”
Piper brought along her 16-year-old son, Carter Reeves, who held a sign that said "I woke up at 6 a.m. to be here so you know I'm pissed! #keepfamiliestogether."
Reeves said he was glad he spent the morning protesting with his mom instead of what he might be doing otherwise.
“Probably sitting at home. So it’s better to be here, you know, standing up for something that matters.”
The protest lasted about an hour. For most of that time, two staff members from Blunt's office listened patiently and collected documents from protestors.
A handfull of Kansas City Police officers and private security personnel were on hand for the protest, which remain calm. The officers stayed inside the building.
Blunt issued a statement saying he is a co-sponser of the Protect Kids and Parents Act. The measure would authorize new shelters that would keep families together, create a 14-day deadline to rule on asylum cases and double the number of federal immigration judges.
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, said on Twitter Wednesday that he is also co-sponsering the measure.
Sam Zeff is KCUR's Metro Reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter: @samzeff