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Almost 2,000 people protest Trump's immigration policy in Pittsburgh

| Saturday, June 30, 2018, 3:18 p.m.
A woman with 'We Care' written on her hands cheers for the speakers at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A woman with 'We Care' written on her hands cheers for the speakers at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Ed Denslow of Gibsonia holds an American flag while listening to speakers at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Ed Denslow of Gibsonia holds an American flag while listening to speakers at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Katherine Romesburg, 11, of Somerset (left), and Madeline Romesburg, 5, hold signs at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Katherine Romesburg, 11, of Somerset (left), and Madeline Romesburg, 5, hold signs at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Some 1,500 to 2,000 people were estimated to have attended the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Some 1,500 to 2,000 people were estimated to have attended the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018.
Kate Allie, of Forest Hills, listens to speakers while wrapped in a flag at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Kate Allie, of Forest Hills, listens to speakers while wrapped in a flag at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Jessica Kaushansky, of Edgwood, listens to speakers while at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Jessica Kaushansky, of Edgwood, listens to speakers while at the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Willa Jester, 5, of East Liberty, reacts to the heat while waiting for the start of the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Willa Jester, 5, of East Liberty, reacts to the heat while waiting for the start of the 'Families Belong Together' rally at Mellon Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The rally was attended by 1,500 to 2,000 people.

Nearly 2,000 people gathered Saturday in downtown Pittsburgh to protest President Trump's family separation policy. The demonstration was part of a national effort called “Families Belong Together.”

Among them was Tony Ortiz, a Mexican immigrant who never attended protests until Trump became president. He attended the Women's March in January and Saturday's rally in Pittsburgh.

He stood on the outskirts of the group holding an American flag, passing out fliers that read: “Trump is not civil, he is immoral and anti-justice for some!”

“It's horrible. It's not American,” Ortiz, 63, of Imperial said of the family separation policy.

Trump ended the controversial policy earlier this month, but more than 2,000 migrant children remain in the United States separated from their parents.

The crowd chanted “Si se puede,” Spanish for “Yes we can,” and listened to speakers from Casa San Jose and other local activist organizations while gathering in 90-degree heat at Mellon Square Park, Downtown.

Many held signs and small children.

Neena Reddy, who immigrated from England when she was a toddler, attended the rally holding a sign that read: “Toomey: Where were you when Trump jailed children? NOWHERE.”

Her son, Parker Reddy Nguyen, held a sign that read: “Rep. Rothfus: What did you do to stop children from being incarcerated? NOTHING.”

The signs referred to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, and U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley.

“I can't imagine what it would be like having my child taken from me for doing nothing wrong,” said Reddy, of Pittsburgh's Shadyside neighborhood. “When a family is seeking asylum and we incarcerate them, I can't think of anything more un-American.”

Sisters Emily and Raeann Emsworth, 28 and 20, respectively, drove nearly an hour from Beaver County to attend the rally.

Emily Emsworth's sign read: “I am here because of immigrants,” while her sister's included a Spanish proverb.

“We are great-granddaughters of immigrants from Lebanon,” Raeann Emsworth said. “It wasn't easy for them, so it hits close to home.”

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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