Prayer Vigil, Protest Held for Separated Migrant Children

Local elected officials join clergy leaders and immigration activists denouncing the separation of families at the southern border. Photo by David Greene

Prayer Vigil, Protest Held for Hundreds of Separated and Missing Immigrant Children

by David Greene

Local elected officials, clergy leaders and community activists gathered outside of Bronx Supreme Court on the Grand Concourse, demanding that all of the 2,300 children separated from their families at the southern border and currently living in New York State– be reunited and allowed to stay.

 

Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., joined with elected officials, clergy leaders and immigration activists on the steps of the Bronx Supreme Court demanding an end to the zero-tolerance policy on immigration implemented by the Trump administration.–Photo by David Greene

The protest rally organized by Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., was held on Friday, June 22. Elected officials included Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Congressman Joseph Crowley, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, Councilman Mark Gjonaj, Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James, Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jose Rivera and Senator Luis Sepulveda.

 

Members of the clergy included Bishop Angel Rosario and Rabbi Bob Kaplan. The event was called three days after reporter Josh Robin of Spectrum NY 1 News captured video of a dozen or so children being brought into an intake center in the middle of the night.

 

Gibson told the crowd, “There is something morally wrong with this president, when he can continue to justify a policy that doesn’t make sense and which is inconsistent with our values and our principles as Americans.”

 

Klein said, “We won’t tolerate the immigration policies of Donald Trump. I stand before you today as a grandson of holocaust survivors and if we didn’t have an open immigration policy back then, I wouldn’t be standing here today.”

 

“All of us standing here today, Klein added, “are sending a message to Donald Trump, we want to keep the American dream alive for this generation and future generations.”

 

Klein stated that last year he was able to secure $1 million for the Immigration Legal Defense Fund and would re-direct some of the funds to locate and reunite the 700 children currently housed in New York State, including two locations in the Bronx.

 

Crespo told the crowd, “Look at a guy who wrote a book, ‘The Art of The Deal,’ if you consider artful negotiations to ruin lives and rip children from their mothers arms… if you consider that artful negotiation, well, then he’s your president.”

 

Diaz then offered, “This is more than just politics. This is about who we are morally as a people. I begged the question earlier, have we gone mad as a society?”

 

Elected officials join arms with clergy leaders as they denounce the zero-tolerance immigration policy of the White House. Photo by David Greene

Bishop Angel Rosario of the Borough President’s Clergy Task Force offered, “To say what I really feel, I would have to take off my collar,” before concluding, that POTUS is “possessed and needs to be delivered.”

 

Rabbi Bob Kaplan added, “Somebody has lost [his] moral compass and we as Americans must reclaim our moral compass.”

 

Participants then linked arms and sang, “We Shall Overcome.”

 

The White House has since stated that on top of the more than 3,000 children separated from family members at the border in recent weeks, officials have come clean that the policy was enacted on October 17, and an additional 703 kids were separated.

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