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Oklahoma protesters speak against detaining child migrants

June 22, 2019
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Satsuki Ina, 75, hangs origami cranes as part of the Tsuru for Solidarity protest of child detention at Fort Sill U.S. Army post, during a healing ceremony at Shepler Park in Lawton, Okla., Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Scott Rains/The Lawton Constitution via AP)
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Satsuki Ina, 75, hangs origami cranes as part of the Tsuru for Solidarity protest of child detention at Fort Sill U.S. Army post, during a healing ceremony at Shepler Park in Lawton, Okla., Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Scott Rains/The Lawton Constitution via AP)

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Demonstrators including Japanese Americans who were detained as children by the U.S. government during World War II spoke out Saturday against the Trump administration’s plans to house migrant children at an Oklahoma Army base.

At a park near Fort Sill, protesters hung paper cranes that organizers said were folded by people across the country. Speakers decried the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and spoke out against detaining asylum seekers and immigrants.

Hundreds of Japanese and Japanese American people were detained at Fort Sill by the federal government during the war with Japan. The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement recently announced plans to temporarily place up to 1,400 children at the base, which is near Lawton. Fort Sill also housed migrant children in 2014 under the Obama administration.

Ahead of the protest, about two dozen people gathered at the base for a news conference. A man in a military uniform told them to leave, but they stayed and finished the news conference before heading to the park.

Record numbers of unaccompanied children have been arriving at the border, largely from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In May, border agents apprehended 11,507 children traveling alone.

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