DETROIT (WJBK) - A rally today to fight deportation and keep families together.
"I crossed the border when I was with my mother who was 20, 21 at the time," said Gabriela Santiago Romero. "I was only 1 and I was deathly ill. So right now all these stories are terrifying to me where would I be if I was separated from my mother."
Gabriela made it to America and her aunt did also, but recently her aunt was sent back, deported.
"When are people going to be seen for our humanity," she said. "And not seen under this racist tent that we've currently been looked under."
Gabriela, Juan and Sandra are only three faces of thousands who can say they know what family separation means.
The English translation of their chant means "Families united. Not divided" - the rallying cry outside of Detroit's Homeland Security Office.
The debate rages on over criticism the Trump administration has come under for policies leaving families separated at the border and restricting asylum seekers.
"We don't talk about the fact that they're fleeing violence, they are fleeing war zones," said Juan Gonzalez. "That is why they are leaving their countries and to come here and be separated from your family? There's so much trauma after on the human soul and for some people it's unbearable."
Juan's father left Mexico and came to America for a better life bringing his family - including Juan - when he was just a baby.
Juan is what is called a Dreamer, a DACA recipient, brought to America as a child who has been granted legal status.
"It changed my life," he said.
Now watching members of his family be detained it’s hard.
"Some of my family was detained not too long ago," he said. "And my cousins were impacted severely. I don't know how you explain that to a child?"
Sandra Gaytan's family rushed to get resident cards, terrified.
"That my nieces wouldn't have their mom when they came home from work or came home from school," she said.
She recently became a naturalized citizen after coming to America as a legal resident at 9. Sandra is protected but she sees friends who because of their status, don't know what tomorrow holds.
"I actually have a friend right now who just found out he has cancer," she said. "They can't treat him. He doesn't have Medicaid and no one can help him. He has cancer, what is he going to do. He doesn't have access to health care and not only that, he is vulnerable if people find out about him. He may be deported. He grew up here and has no protection."