Tri-State Area Marches Demand the End of Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’

Protesters at the Brooklyn Bridge (Photo via Impacto Latino)

[Thousands marched in various locations on Saturday to demand an end to the Trump “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Below are excerpts, first from a story by Impacto Latino.]

Thousands of people gathered in New York on Saturday to demand the end of the “zero tolerance” policy established by the Trump administration, which separates migrant parents from their children when they reach the southwestern border between the U.S. and Mexico.

New Yorkers – activists, religious leaders, politicians and unions – joined thousands of people across the country on a day of nationwide protests in which they also spoke out to demand the reunification of more than 2,000 children with their parents, who are detained in detention centers accused of entering the country illegally.

Chants of “Estamos en la lucha” (“We will fight on”) and “Sí, se puede” (“Yes, we can”) could be heard in Spanish at Foley Square in Manhattan, only steps away from the immigration authority’s headquarters. Demonstrators held up signs with messages such as “Kidnapping is a crime; seeking asylum is not,” “We are many; they are few. Vote!”, “Build bridges, not walls,” “No ban, no wall, no cages.”

The crowd marched in silence across the 135-year-old Brooklyn Bridge to the federal court building in Brooklyn, defying the heat scorching the city in one of the 700 protests held all over the country on the same day.

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“The Trump regime is doing everything it can to split immigrant families,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union (…) “The current crisis will not end until all the children who have been separated are reunited with their parents, each family is treated with dignity and respect and our immigration policy reflects our values.”

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Long Island against the criminalization of immigrants

[Below are excerpts from a story by Noticia Long Island’s Felipe Mendoza.]

A number of demonstrations were held on Long Island to protest family separation at the border with Mexico and the constant harassment and violation of the rights of immigrants.

One of the protests, organized by the New York Immigration Coalition, took place on Saturday, June 30, at the Nassau Correctional Center, located at 100 Carman Ave. in East Meadow.

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“No more violating laws and communities,” was the main demand expressed by advocates who protested the Trump administration’s actions against the 2,300 children estimated to have been separated from their parents and detained in isolation centers across the country and on Long Island.

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“The Nassau County Police is carrying out joint actions with ICE to accelerate the deportation processes of undocumented people,” said activist and immigrant rights advocate Anthony Miller.

“We do not want our tax money to pay for an anti-immigration policy that promotes hatred and dismantles families,” said Victoria Daza, from the Trabajos con Justicia (“Jobs with Justice”) organization.

“There are people who are detained for pedestrian offenses and then deported due to their immigration status. All this comes as part of the Nassau police and ICE’s joint offensive,” said Claire Peters, who attended the event.

Liliam Juárez, president of The Workplace Project (Centro de Derechos Laborales), said: “Racist behavior against immigrants cannot continue to be a priority policy of Trump’s agenda, and there should be no collaboration whatsoever between the police department and ICE.”

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Protesters in Port Chester, NY (Photo via Westchester Hispano)

Four centers for separated children in Westchester

[Below are excerpts from a story by Westchester Hispano.]

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Jirandy Martínez, executive director of the Community Resource Center, who participated in a protest held at St. Peter’s Church in Port Chester organized by local community groups, said that Donald Trump’s executive order is useless and that “what we need to do is mobilize everyone to demand that they reunite the children with their families immediately.”

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The day of protests in Port Chester was coordinated by the Hudson Valley Community Coalition with the participation of organizations such as the Community Resource Center and a number of immigrant rights advocacy groups. “We want family unity,” “We want justice for immigrants,” chanted the demonstrators. Port Chester Board of Trustees member Luis Marino and Rev. Hilario Albert, from St. Peter’s Church, were in attendance.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on June 21 that around 700 children detained at the border and separated from their parents are in New York State facilities, four of which are in Westchester: The Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, Lincoln Hall in Somers, Abbott House in Irvington and Rising Ground – formerly Leake & Watts – in Yonkers.

Some of these facilities have been housing unaccompanied immigrant youths for years.

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Marchers in Queens. At left, Jessica Ramos and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Center, Tania Mattos from Neighborhoods United (Barrios Unidos). (Photo via Queens Latino)

Ocasio-Cortez and primary contenders in Queens

[Below are excerpts from a story by Queens Latino.]

Hundreds of people marched on Saturday on the streets of Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona to condemn the separation of immigrant minors from their families at the border. “History will judge us for the way we act in the face of the destruction of families that the president of the United States is carrying out, and this is the moment to take action and speak out,” said Jessica Ramos, who organized the march and is running for the State Senate.

Ramos is seeking to seize Democratic state Sen. José Peralta’s seat. The march, which was replicated in numerous cities across the nation, was also attended by such politicians as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – who just defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley at the polls – Comptroller Scott Stringer, Rep. Grace Meng and Council member Jimmy Van Bramer.

All these politicians are supporting Ramos’ campaign to win the seat representing State Senate District 13, comprising such neighborhoods as Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona.

“Wherever there is effort and a struggle, there is hope,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who marched at the helm of the group holding a banner by Queens-based organization Neighborhoods United (Barrios Unidos). “We are living in dark times with this administration, but I am sure and hopeful that it will not be for long thanks to the effort of people like those marching with us today.”

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Read RiverheadLOCAL’s English-language report on the Families Belong Together march in Greenport here.

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