Austin immigration advocates call for an end to separation of immigrant families

Hundreds rallied for National Day of Action on Friday, calling for an end to the Trump administration’s policy on separating undocumented immigrant children from their families.

The policy was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday. "If you are smuggling a child than we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law."

Immigration advocates like Sedrick Murhula from the Democratic Republic of Congo shared their stories. He detailed the pain he and his siblings felt when they were separated as children.

Read FOX 7 Discussion: Separation of immigrant families at border

Murhula can still hear his brother's cries. "He would cry day and night asking where is dad, dad,” Murhula said. “It’s really traumatizing and it's really affected so much,"

The rally was one of many held across the U.S after nearly 1,500 children were reported missing in the immigration system. Leaving the question what happened to the missing children? 

Read Moms hoping Cornyn will stand up to immigration policy that separates families

Health and Human Services claims the children who went missing, were among thousands who arrived at the border last year without parents and may be in hiding.

Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan with Health and Human Services released this statement:

"The assertion that unaccompanied alien children (UAC) are 'lost' is completely false. This is a classic example of the adage 'no good deed goes unpunished.”

Advocates encouraged people to vote this upcoming election for a change in administration, in detention center treatment and in the family separation policy.

Jose Ramirez IV with RAICES Texas said the current administration has created a tone of fear among immigrants making it difficult for them to seek help.

He urges immigrants and activists to educate themselves.

He said detaining families did not begin with the Trump administration but they are enforcing a new policy to separate immigrant families. "There's no law in the books nothing has been passed that requires the Trump administration and the Department of Justice to separate children from their parents when they're in detention," Ramirez said.