As President Donald Trump says his administration has ended the policy of separating migrant children from their families at the border, Democrats say they are intent on making sure voters don’t forget.
Hundreds rallied Saturday outside The Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, the site of this weekend’s Leadership Blue conference.
Among those attending the “Families Belong Together” rally were congressional candidate Tim Canova, state Sen. Gary Farmer, and state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.
Smith delivered a fiery speech decrying the policy, leading the crowd to chant, “No hate, no fear! Refugees are welcome here!” That motto was repeated throughout the event as the crowd spoke out in opposition.
Smith continued with a direct shot at President Trump.
“We believe in one fundamental American principle, and that is the principle of freedom and equality for all. This administration is trampling on American values. And we are not going to take it anymore.”
Florida became a focus in the debate after it was revealed some of those separated children were being housed in facilities located in the state. The practice was condemned by many throughout the state, including by Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
“This is outrageous, what has been going on in our country,” said Canova. “We all have to stand together against it.”
Smith added an appeal to empathy for those entering the country illegally.
“So many of these families are fleeing persecution. They are fleeing violence. They are fleeing, in many cases, certain death.”
“It is up to us,” declared state Sen. Farmer. “We have got to save our country and our state. We must resist. We must fight.”
How will Democrats fight? That was answered with another oft-repeated slogan at Saturday’s rally.
“Vote! Vote! Vote!”