Protesters from faith-based groups gathered inside the state Capitol to condemn Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's support for federal immigration policies Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Santa Fe, N.M. The protestors ignored requests to leave as the building was closed to visitors. At least three were arrested by state police who provide security for the governor. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Immigrants who have spent years fighting to change the country’s immigration system are getting newfound support from liberal activists, moms and first-time protesters motivated by a visceral narrative: President Donald Trump[1]’s administration separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico[2] border.

Groups that pulled off massive women’s marches the past two years and other left-leaning rallies are throwing their weight behind migrant families Saturday. More than 600 marches could draw hundreds of thousands of people nationwide, from immigrant-friendly cities like Los Angeles[3] and New York City to conservative Appalachia and Wyoming.

Though many are seasoned anti-Trump[4] demonstrators, others are new to immigration activism, including parents who say they feel compelled to show up after heart-wrenching accounts of children forcibly taken from their families as they crossed the border illegally. In Portland, Oregon, for example, several stay-at-home moms are organizing their first rally while caring for young kids.

“I’m not a radical, and I’m not an activist,” said Kate Sharaf, a co-organizer in Portland’s event. “I just reached a point where I felt I had to do more.”

She and her co-organizers are undaunted after nearly 600 women wearing white and railing against the now-abandoned separation policy were arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C. With demonstrations emerging nationwide, immigrant advocacy groups say they’re thrilled - and surprised - to see the issue gaining traction among those not tied to immigration.

“Honestly, I am blown away. I have literally never seen Americans show up for immigrants like this,” said Jess Morales Rocketto, political director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which represents nannies, housekeepers and caregivers, many of whom are immigrants. “We just kept hearing over and over again, if it was my child, I would want someone to do something.”

Saturday’s rallies are getting funding and support from the American Civil Liberties Union,, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and The Leadership Conference. But local organizers are shouldering on-the-ground planning, many of them women relying on informal networks established during worldwide women’s marches on Trump[5]’s inauguration and its anniversary.

Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, welcomed interest in the immigration system and said only Congress has the power to change the law.

“We appreciate that these individuals have expressed an interest in and concern with the critical issue of securing our nation’s borders and enforcing our immigration laws,” Houlton said. “As we have indicated before, the department is disappointed and frustrated by our nation’s disastrous immigration laws and supports action.”...

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley did not respond to a request for comment.In Portland, Sharaf and other mothers are working to organize a march expected to attract 5,000 people - all while they change diapers, nurse babies and prepare snacks. They have marched for women’s rights but have never spearheaded a political rally.Sharaf and three other women

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