Protesters gather in Roanoke, speak against immigrant family separation

Demonstrators rallied, held a "lie-in" at Elmwood Park

ROANOKE, Va. – Around 100 people came to Elmwood Park in Roanoke Saturday to voice concern over the separation of immigrant families.

This came as hundreds of protests took place across the country amid reports of the government separating children from their parents at the border and alleged mistreatment.

The protesters said they wanted to raise awareness of the problems they perceive with the current process and they want families to be able to stay together.

They staged a "lie-in" during which many protesters lied on the ground in Mylar blankets, which pictures have shown workers give to many of the children in these facilities. They believe the government should be treating children better.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order June 21 halting his administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the U.S. border.

The U.S. House of Representatives soundly rejected a wide-ranging immigration bill last week despite Trump’s endorsement, a vote that followed the defeat on a harder-right package that garnered more conservative support.

GOP leaders are considering an alternative that would focus narrowly on preventing the government from separating children from migrant families caught entering the country without authorization. But any changes are not expected to happen before the July 4th holiday as lawmakers attempt to agree on bill language.

The president tweeted Saturday that when people enter the nation illegally, “we must IMMEDIATELY escort them back out without going through years of legal maneuvering. Our laws are the dumbest anywhere in the world.”