Nationwide protests against 'zero tolerance' illegal immigration policy

Small groups of protesters in cities across the United States are camping outside offices used by federal immigration agents, seeking to disrupt deportations in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough stance on illegal immigration.

The protests, which began last week in Portland, Oregon, were spurred by news and images of migrant children from Central America being separated from their parents after crossing the U.S. southern border under Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, organizers said.

The protests have since spread to New York City, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Diego and Chicago, among other cities, causing minor disruptions to immigration officials, and in some cases criticized as well meaning but misguided by immigrant rights groups.

Led by local anarchist organizations and chapters of the Democratic Socialists of America, the protests are calling for the abolishment of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE was created in 2003 by Republican President George W. Bush in response to the attacks by al Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001. (Reuters)

Here’s a look at nationwide protests the Trump administration’s policy sparked.

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<p>A girl wears a jacket that references that of the First Lady Melania Trump during a CASA in Action rally at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, D.C. The protest was organized to protest the Trump Administration zero tolerance policy that separates children from their families at the southern border Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Photo: Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images) </p>
Washington, D.C.

A girl wears a jacket that references that of the First Lady Melania Trump during a CASA in Action rally at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, D.C. The protest was organized to protest the Trump Administration zero tolerance policy that separates children from their families at the southern border Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Photo: Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

<p>A demonstrator holds a megaphone with a sticker that reads “Stop Bigotry” during a protest against detaining and separating immigrant families outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images) </p>
Washington, D.C.

A demonstrator holds a megaphone with a sticker that reads “Stop Bigotry” during a protest against detaining and separating immigrant families outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

<p>Protesters carry signs and chant slogans to protest against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration’s policies in advance of his noontime address at the Criminal Justice Foundation’s annual luncheon meeting in Los Angeles in front of Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo: Richard Vogel/AP) </p>
Los Angeles

Protesters carry signs and chant slogans to protest against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration’s policies in advance of his noontime address at the Criminal Justice Foundation’s annual luncheon meeting in Los Angeles in front of Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo: Richard Vogel/AP)

<p>A barricade crosses railroad track at a protest camp on property outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., Monday, June 25, 2018. Law enforcement officers began distributing notices to vacate to demonstrators late Monday morning. The round-the-clock demonstration outside the Portland headquarters began June 17, 2018, and increased in size early last week, prompting officials to close the facility. (Photo: Don Ryan/AP) </p>
Portland, Ore.

A barricade crosses railroad track at a protest camp on property outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., Monday, June 25, 2018. Law enforcement officers began distributing notices to vacate to demonstrators late Monday morning. The round-the-clock demonstration outside the Portland headquarters began June 17, 2018, and increased in size early last week, prompting officials to close the facility. (Photo: Don Ryan/AP)

<p>An unidentified man holds a sign behind a makeshift wall at a protest camp on property outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., Monday, June 25, 2018. (Photo: Don Ryan/AP) </p>
Portland, Ore.

An unidentified man holds a sign behind a makeshift wall at a protest camp on property outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., Monday, June 25, 2018. (Photo: Don Ryan/AP)

<p>Jerry Martinez of Edinburg, Texas protests outside the Border Patrol Processing Center on Monday, June 25, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. (Photo: Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP) </p>
McAllen, Texas

Jerry Martinez of Edinburg, Texas protests outside the Border Patrol Processing Center on Monday, June 25, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. (Photo: Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP)

<p>Demonstrators block a bus with immigrant children onboard during a protest outside the U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center Saturday, June 23, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. Extra law enforcement officials were called in to help control the scene and allow the bus to move. (Photo: David J. Phillip/AP) </p>
McAllen, Texas

Demonstrators block a bus with immigrant children onboard during a protest outside the U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center Saturday, June 23, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. Extra law enforcement officials were called in to help control the scene and allow the bus to move. (Photo: David J. Phillip/AP)

<p>People protest near the tent encampment recently built at the Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry on June 24, 2018 in Tornillo, Texas. The group is protesting the separation of children from their parents after they were caught entering the U.S. under the administration’s zero tolerance policy. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images) </p>
Tornillo, Texas

People protest near the tent encampment recently built at the Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry on June 24, 2018 in Tornillo, Texas. The group is protesting the separation of children from their parents after they were caught entering the U.S. under the administration’s zero tolerance policy. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

<p>Demonstrators block a bus with immigrant children onboard during a protest outside the U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center Saturday, June 23, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. Extra law enforcement officials were called in to help control the scene and allow the bus to move. (Photo: David J. Phillip/AP) </p>
McAllen, Texas

Demonstrators block a bus with immigrant children onboard during a protest outside the U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center Saturday, June 23, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. Extra law enforcement officials were called in to help control the scene and allow the bus to move. (Photo: David J. Phillip/AP)

<p>Suki Castillo Ramos, from Socorro, Texas is pictured during a prayer at the “End Family Detention,” event held at the Tornillo Port of Entry in Tornillo, Texas on June 24, 2018, “We just need to put ourselves in their shoes,” Ramos said, referring to the plight of asylum seeker from Central America. (Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Tornillo, Texas

Suki Castillo Ramos, from Socorro, Texas is pictured during a prayer at the “End Family Detention,” event held at the Tornillo Port of Entry in Tornillo, Texas on June 24, 2018, “We just need to put ourselves in their shoes,” Ramos said, referring to the plight of asylum seeker from Central America. (Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Demonstrators gather and hold signs during the “Keep Families Together” rally outside of the Homestead temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in Homestead, Fla., on Saturday, June 23, 2018. (Photo: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg via Getty Images) </p>
Homestead, Fla.

Demonstrators gather and hold signs during the “Keep Families Together” rally outside of the Homestead temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in Homestead, Fla., on Saturday, June 23, 2018. (Photo: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

<p>People gather at the San Diego Civic Center to demand that thousands of children taken from their immigrant parents by border officials under recent controversial Trump administration policies be reunited on June 23, 2018 in San Diego, Calif. (Photo: David McNew AFP/Getty Images) </p>
San Diego, Calif.

People gather at the San Diego Civic Center to demand that thousands of children taken from their immigrant parents by border officials under recent controversial Trump administration policies be reunited on June 23, 2018 in San Diego, Calif. (Photo: David McNew AFP/Getty Images)

<p>People rally near the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building to demand that thousands of children taken from their immigrant parents by border officials under recent controversial Trump administration policies be reunited on June 23, 2018 in San Diego, Calif. (Photo: David McNew/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
San Diego, Calif.

People rally near the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building to demand that thousands of children taken from their immigrant parents by border officials under recent controversial Trump administration policies be reunited on June 23, 2018 in San Diego, Calif. (Photo: David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>People protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in New York, N.Y., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters) </p>
New York, N.Y.

People protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in New York, N.Y., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

<p>People protest in El Paso, Texas, against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry on June 19, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters) </p>
El Paso, Texas

People protest in El Paso, Texas, against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry on June 19, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)

<p>People shout, “You are not alone!” to immigrant detainees in the Metropolitan Detention Center during a protest against the Trump administration’s policy of removing children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images) </p>
Los Angeles

People shout, “You are not alone!” to immigrant detainees in the Metropolitan Detention Center during a protest against the Trump administration’s policy of removing children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

<p>New Yorkers demonstrate against the Trump administration’s decision to separate children from their parents when they are detained after crossing the border in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 14, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images) </p>
Brooklyn, N.Y.

New Yorkers demonstrate against the Trump administration’s decision to separate children from their parents when they are detained after crossing the border in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 14, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

<p>People protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry in El Paso, Texas, on June 19, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters) </p>
El Paso, Texas

People protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry in El Paso, Texas, on June 19, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)

<p>People protest the Trump administration policy of separating children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday in Los Angeles. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images) </p>
Los Angeles

People protest the Trump administration policy of separating children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday in Los Angeles. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

<p>Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., and other Democratic members of Congress protest family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border as President Trump departs after addressing a closed House Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters) </p>
Washington, D.C.

Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., and other Democratic members of Congress protest family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border as President Trump departs after addressing a closed House Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

<p>A round-the-clock vigil is underway ICE headquarters in Portland, Ore. About two dozen protesters gathered June 19, 2018, for a round-the-clock vigil and vowed not to leave until the policy was changed. (Photo: Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP) </p>
Portland, Ore.

A round-the-clock vigil is underway ICE headquarters in Portland, Ore. About two dozen protesters gathered June 19, 2018, for a round-the-clock vigil and vowed not to leave until the policy was changed. (Photo: Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

<p>A young protester participates as people protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in New York, N.Y. on June 19, 2018. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters) </p>
New York, N.Y.

A young protester participates as people protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in New York, N.Y. on June 19, 2018. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

<p>People protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in El Paso, Texas, June 19, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters) </p>
El Paso, Texas

People protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in El Paso, Texas, June 19, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)

<p>A sign is raised as people protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in New York, N.Y., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters) </p>
New York, N.Y.

A sign is raised as people protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in New York, N.Y., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

<p>Young children and adults protest the Trump administration policy of separating children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images) </p>
Los Angeles

Young children and adults protest the Trump administration policy of separating children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters with children demonstrate against the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border before U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified at a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee titled, “Oversight of the FBI and DOJ Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election” on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 19, 2018. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters) </p>
Washington, D.C.

Protesters with children demonstrate against the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border before U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified at a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee titled, “Oversight of the FBI and DOJ Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election” on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 19, 2018. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

<p>People march as they protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry in New York, N.Y., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters) </p>
New York, N.Y.

People march as they protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry in New York, N.Y., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

<p>People protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in El Paso, Texas, June 19, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters) </p>
El Paso, Texas

People protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families suspected of illegal entry, in El Paso, Texas, June 19, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)

<p>House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democrats hold a rally on the steps of the Capitol to call for passage of “The Keep Families Together Act,” that would stop the separation of parents and children at the border of the U.S. and Mexico on June 20, 2018. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images) </p>
Washington, D.C.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democrats hold a rally on the steps of the Capitol to call for passage of “The Keep Families Together Act,” that would stop the separation of parents and children at the border of the U.S. and Mexico on June 20, 2018. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

<p>People participate in a protest against recent U.S. immigration policy of separating children from their families when they enter the U.S. as undocumented immigrants, in front of a Homeland Security facility in Elizabeth, N.J., June 17, 2018. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters) </p>
Elizabeth, N.J.

People participate in a protest against recent U.S. immigration policy of separating children from their families when they enter the U.S. as undocumented immigrants, in front of a Homeland Security facility in Elizabeth, N.J., June 17, 2018. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

<p>People protest the Trump administration policy of removing children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images) </p>
Los Angeles

People protest the Trump administration policy of removing children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

<p>Thousands of Philadelphians gathered in Rittenhouse Square to protest a GOP fundraiser where Mike Pence was speaking about the Trump administration immigration policy that separates the children of families seeking refugee status at the US-Mexico border in Philadelphia on June 19, 2018. (Photo: Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images) </p>
Philadelphia

Thousands of Philadelphians gathered in Rittenhouse Square to protest a GOP fundraiser where Mike Pence was speaking about the Trump administration immigration policy that separates the children of families seeking refugee status at the US-Mexico border in Philadelphia on June 19, 2018. (Photo: Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

<p>Kids hold up signs during an immigration family separation protest in front of the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. District Court building, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Phoenix, Ariz. An unapologetic President Trump defended his administration’s border-protection policies Monday in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. (Photo: Ross D. Franklin/AP) </p>
Phoenix, Ariz.

Kids hold up signs during an immigration family separation protest in front of the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. District Court building, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Phoenix, Ariz. An unapologetic President Trump defended his administration’s border-protection policies Monday in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. (Photo: Ross D. Franklin/AP)

<p>Women of faith gather outside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters to call on the Trump administration to halt its policy of detaining immigrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, during a demonstration in Washington, D.C., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Kevin Fogarty/Reuters) </p>
Washington, D.C.

Women of faith gather outside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters to call on the Trump administration to halt its policy of detaining immigrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, during a demonstration in Washington, D.C., June 19, 2018. (Photo: Kevin Fogarty/Reuters)

<p>People protest the Trump administration policy of removing children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles. Demonstrators marched through the city and culminated the march at a detention center where ICE (U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detainees are held. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently arrested 162 undocumented immigrants during a three-day operation in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images) </p>
Los Angeles, Calif.

People protest the Trump administration policy of removing children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles. Demonstrators marched through the city and culminated the march at a detention center where ICE (U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detainees are held. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently arrested 162 undocumented immigrants during a three-day operation in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

<p>Stefanie Herweck stands with other protesters in front of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Rio Grande Valley Sector’s Centralized Processing Center on June 17, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (Photo: Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP) </p>
McAllen, Texas

Stefanie Herweck stands with other protesters in front of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Rio Grande Valley Sector’s Centralized Processing Center on June 17, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (Photo: Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP)

<p>Sharon Chajon, whose husband is a detained immigrant, cries as people participate in a protest against recent U.S. immigration policy of separating children from their families when they enter the United States as undocumented immigrants, in front of a Homeland Security facility in Elizabeth, N.J., June 17, 2018. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters) </p>
Elizabeth, N.J.

Sharon Chajon, whose husband is a detained immigrant, cries as people participate in a protest against recent U.S. immigration policy of separating children from their families when they enter the United States as undocumented immigrants, in front of a Homeland Security facility in Elizabeth, N.J., June 17, 2018. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

<p>Demonstrators gather outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when they cross the U.S. border without authorization on June 14, 2018. (Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) </p>
Boston

Demonstrators gather outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when they cross the U.S. border without authorization on June 14, 2018. (Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

<p>New Yorkers demonstrate against the Trump administration’s decision to separate children from their parents when they are detained after crossing the border, on June 14, 2018, in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y. (Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images) </p>
Brooklyn, N.Y.

New Yorkers demonstrate against the Trump administration’s decision to separate children from their parents when they are detained after crossing the border, on June 14, 2018, in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y. (Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

<p>People protest the separation of children from their parents in front of the El Paso Processing Center, an immigration detention facility, at the Mexican border on June 19, 2018 in El Paso, Texas. The separations have drawn intense scrutiny as the Trump administration institutes a zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration. (Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images) </p>
El Paso, Texas

People protest the separation of children from their parents in front of the El Paso Processing Center, an immigration detention facility, at the Mexican border on June 19, 2018 in El Paso, Texas. The separations have drawn intense scrutiny as the Trump administration institutes a zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration. (Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

<p>People protest the separation of children from their parents in front of the El Paso Processing Center, an immigration detention facility, at the Mexican border on June 19, 2018 in El Paso, Texas. The separations have drawn intense scrutiny as the Trump administration institutes a zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration. (Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images) </p>
El Paso, Texas

People protest the separation of children from their parents in front of the El Paso Processing Center, an immigration detention facility, at the Mexican border on June 19, 2018 in El Paso, Texas. The separations have drawn intense scrutiny as the Trump administration institutes a zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration. (Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

<p>People protest the Trump administration policy of removing children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif. Demonstrators marched through the city and culminated the march at a detention center where ICE (U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detainees are held. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently arrested 162 undocumented immigrants during a three-day operation in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images) </p>
Los Angeles

People protest the Trump administration policy of removing children from parents arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on June 14, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif. Demonstrators marched through the city and culminated the march at a detention center where ICE (U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detainees are held. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently arrested 162 undocumented immigrants during a three-day operation in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

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