Protesters gather as deadline passes to reunite separated families

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HUNTINGTON -

Dozens of people rallied in Huntington Saturday against the Trump administration’s zero tolerance border policy that resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents.

The Trump administration says it has met the deadline to reunite all eligible families separated at the border. But according to a court filing, 700 children are still left in government custody.

More than 1,400 families have been reunited, but the government says the remaining 700 families are ineligible.

Rally-goers called the policy “despicable” and demanded accountability.

“This thing is very near and dear to me as an African-American because the same thing was done to my people years ago with slavery,” said Reverend Jerry Artis, of the Love of Christ Fellowship Church in Huntington.

“In the words of Dr. King, ‘Worse than the words of an enemy is the silence of a friend.’ So I'm not going to be silent,” he said.

Robert Previto, of Huntington, says the border crisis is more complicated than that.

“Many of these adults, by definition, may lack parenting skills because they brought their children across Mexico without really having the grounds to do so,” he said. “No country can survive without its borders.”

The Trump administration has not offered a timeline for tracking down the hundreds of parents who remain unaccounted for, so it's unclear what will happen to their children.

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