Residents gathered in River Falls on Monday, July 8, to protest federal immigration policy and conditions on the southern border for people crossing into the United States.

The protest was held 5 to 6 p.m. at the intersection of Cascade Avenue and South Main Street.

"The purpose is mostly that we just have to speak out," protest organizer Jacqueline Brux said. "That's all we can do - speak out."

The retired economics professor said she advocates for social justice causes by coordinating events like Monday's protest and working with area churches and other groups.

The protest attracted a group of around 50 people, many of whom held signs and handed out flyers. The gathering elicited honks and thumbs-up from passing vehicles.

The protest was held in response to controversial detention centers on the nation's southern border and the separation families of illegal immigrants coming from Mexico. A protest flyer detailed alleged mistreatment of adults and children at detention centers in the form of cold beds, no toothpaste, no baths and limited water.

Protesters also decried President Donald Trump's push to include a citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 census.

"The best we can do is to influence our legislators," Brux said. "That's probably the most effective thing we do."