CADMAN PLAZA – Thousands of people marched from Foley Square in lower Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza on Saturday, June 30 to demand that the Trump administration end family separation at the border.
The “zero tolerance” policy, introduced by Trump, calls for the prosecution of anyone who illegally enters the country. Families who come together are essentially separated because parents will be prosecuted while children will be sent to shelters (unless they have a relative or a foster home). Over 2,000 children have been separated since the policy first came into play in early May, including over 200 in New York.
Protesters argue that though the policy is unfair and breaks apart families, it also violates basic human rights, which is why hundreds of thousands gathered across the country (including right here in Brooklyn) to make their voices heard.
“It’s important to remember all the families who are tragically being separated,” Council Member Mark Treyger said in a June 20th tweet. “Our city fights for ALL families All parents want the best for their children & we must do everything that we can to help all families
“Hearing kids desperately cry out for their parents, as ICE agents hold them in detention on our border, cuts me to my core,” Borough President Eric Adams tweeted on June 18th. “I cannot understand anyone who hears these cries and doesn’t demand action.
#FamiliesBelongTogether. This is beyond horrifying.”
Council Member Brad Lander was at the march and also helped to charter a bus that took protesters from Brooklyn to Washington D.C.
Celebrities were at the Brooklyn march, including Kerry Washington who stars in ABC’s Scandal.
Prior to the march, Public Advocate Tish James wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding that children no longer be separated from their parents.
“In my capacity as Public Advocate I wrote a letter to US AG Jeff Sessions demanding a plan to expeditiously reunite families that have been separated. Regardless of immigration status, kids should never be ripped away from their parents & put in harm’s way.”