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This is where anti-immigration policy rallies will be held Saturday in Whatcom

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The U.S. Border Patrol released video of a brief tour they gave reporters inside a detention facility in McAllen, Texas, where it holds families arrested at the southern U.S. border. The video shows adult and children housed in cages.
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The U.S. Border Patrol released video of a brief tour they gave reporters inside a detention facility in McAllen, Texas, where it holds families arrested at the southern U.S. border. The video shows adult and children housed in cages.

Two rallies in Whatcom County this weekend are part of a national series of events in support of immigrant rights and opposing the separation of children from their families who are suspected of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

A rally called Families Belong Together is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at City Hall, 210 Lottie St., and the street will be closed, Bellingham Police said.

A smaller rally is planned for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday on the Arch Field at Peace Arch State Park in Blaine.

"We're trying to get people to realize that they do have a voice," said Kevin Leja of Indivisible Bellingham, organizers of the Bellingham event. "That's how we get things changed."

Leja said speakers will include U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, whose district includes Bellingham and Whatcom County Council member Satpal Sidhu. Larsen also plans to address a similar rally in Mount Vernon at noon Saturday.

The local event is part of a series of nationwide rallies organized by the progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org.

Fewer than 1,000 people are expected locally, Leja said.

Sidhu, who was born in India and moved to the U.S. from British Columbia in 1986, will address recent anti-immigrant rhetoric.

"There are less than 11 percent foreign-born people in the U.S.," Sidhu said. "It really puts things in perspective that in our history. It's never been a huge amount. We're told that we're being invaded, but it's not a big number."

Leja said the rally takes on added urgency in light of Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upholds the Trump administration's ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim nations.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty
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