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COOS BAY — Locals who oppose family separation at the U.S. border are coming together in protest on Saturday.

June 30 at noon on the Coos Bay Boardwalk, Marshfield High School student Cameron Langley is leading the #familiesbelongtogether march.

“I don’t think I need a certain passion or reason to stand up for another community,” he said. “The Latino community has been under fire from the Trump administration since the start, from Puerto Rico being neglected to Trump trying to create an ‘us-versus-them’ scenario in the United States. We need to stand up and say this is unacceptable.”

Langley hopes the Saturday protest sends the message that southern Oregon stands together against President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, and that it also stands against Latinophobia, xenophobia and nationalism. He explained that the #keepfamiliestogether movement formed after Trump’s new policy began putting thousands of immigrants at the southern border in detainment facilities and ripped children from their parents, a practice that Senator Jeff Merkley has staunchly opposed and fought to end.

 “Although (Trump) signed the executive order saying he would no longer do this, he still hasn’t reunited the children and has plans to put families in detention facilities indefinitely, which is essentially internment camps,” Langley said.

The Saturday protest is in conjunction with others across the nation to send a collective message that “we need to respect these people no matter their citizenship because our Constitution covers all people who enter our borders,” he said.

Langley has been active in the community by organizing previous protests and is responsible for the hundreds of protesters who collected for March for Our Lives in March. He hopes more Coos County residents show their support for Saturday’s march.

When asked if he has seen any impact on the Marshfield High School student body since Trump’s zero policy went into effect, he said no. However, he still had a message for his peers and the community:

“For the record, I will always stand up for any race around here who feels discriminated against.”

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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