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Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the country Saturday to protest the draconian immigration detention policies employed by the Trump administration that separated more than 2,000 children from their parents.

Thousands of demonstrators braved the sweltering heat to make their way downtown Saturday to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies.

"It goes against everything we stand for as a country", one protester, Paula Flores-Marques told Reuters news agency as she stood in front of the White House in Washington DC.

Faced with a backlash, President Trump instead promised to "keep families together" in migrant detention centres. "Our laws are the dumbest anywhere in the world", Trump tweeted as large number of people came out on streets and in public places including outside the White House against his immigration policies.

"ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), do your job ..."

The lawmaker was part of a delegation of mayors who had visited the entry point city of Tornillo, Texas last week to call on the Trump administration to reverse its family separation policy.

Felipe Ocampo, program manager for all Berkeley farmers markets, said Saturday's had extra staffing, a lesson learned from previous political rallies and clashes in the park.

"We came here to let the president know that this is not acceptable", said San Francisco resident Barry Hooper, who attended with his wife and two daughters. We should not be separating them.

Migrant children are not permitted to be incarcerated with their parents and are kept in separate facilities maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services.

"I can not overstate how important the established parent-child bond is", she said.

A Brazilian mother separated from her 10-year-old son more than a month ago approached the microphone at the Boston rally. Many demanded protections for the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants previously granted temporary relief from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump ended in September 2017. He said during his speech that the "zero-tolerance" policy is devastating his family, friends and colleagues.

"I grew up on the border", she said.

Marchers took to city parks and downtown squares from ME to Florida to OR; in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico; on the worldwide bridge between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico; even in Antler, North Dakota, population 27. People in the crowd were lighting firecrackers and smoke bombs and police used flash bangs to disperse the clashing protesters.

At the Austin rally several hours away, solidarity with border communities and immigrants also resounded throughout the crowd.