Thousands of self-described patriots called for tighter border control and no amnesty for undocumented immigrants at nationwide protests, citing health and safety as well as national security concerns.
The protest Friday and Saturday stemmed from an influx of 57,000 children who have entered the United States illegally this year, many from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, fleeing violence, rape, gang activity and drug wars.
"It is a sad state of affairs for those kids," a protester told CNN. "But it's not our job to take care of them."
“We’ve been invaded. It’s a war,” another protester told Fox News Latino.
An announcement posted on Facebook said about 4,000 people had responded to attend the protests, listed in cities throughout all 50 states. The group says on its Facebook page it wants to tell lawmakers any form of amnesty for illegals is unacceptable, saying the “current surge of illegals crossing our border” must be stopped, borders must be secured and laws must be enforced. They argue the Obama administration has failed to secure the border.
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President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion, an amount Republicans say is too much, in emergency funds to deal with the crisis. Some Democrats, too, are frustrated Obama has crafted immigration policy without their input. Obama will meet with leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador next week to discuss the issue.
The protests also come after news some local facilities are being used to house immigrants as they are processed. State and federal agencies have been looking for additional space to house immigrants, particularly for mothers and young children.