Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, joined by families, elected officials, churches and local organizations, lead a “stroller march” on Sunday to denounce the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when they cross the southern U.S. border. The heated crowd marched through Sunset Park to the Metropolitan Detention Center where Adams, City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, NY State Assemblymember Félix W. Ortiz, Councilmember Brad Lander, District Leader Arelis Martinez, among others, shared their outrage in fiery speeches.
“No one knows it better than we here in Brooklyn, where 47 percent of Brooklynites speak a language other than English at home,” said Adams. “We know how important it is to come together and to state that the sick policy of ripping babies from their parents is something that will not be tolerated in our America, not while we are alive and breathing.” And he added: “We are talking about a president that is out of control. We did not elect a dictator, we elected a president who will soon be gone.”
Since early May, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the southern border, according to statistics compiled by the US Department of Homeland Security and held in facilities run by the US Department of Health and Human Services. On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order to end the policy, though the order does nothing to address the fate of the children who have already been separated. In response, various Brooklyn lawmakers denounced harshly Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.
The outcry of the more than 500 participants on Sunday was loud and clear as they pushed strollers and carried signs through the streets of Sunset Park, chanting “Love, not hate makes America great,” and “No Walls, no cages.” A visibly emotional Laurie Cumbo addressed the crowd, emphasizing the special bond between a mother and her child.
“I am a mother. We carry our children in our wombs. We go through extensive labor. We try our best to do our best for our babies, to bring them into this world so they can be the best they can be. “We are here today to show that you cannot destroy the critical bond a mother has to her child, that this cannot happen. The administration has crossed a line in a way that there is no coming back. We are continuing to mobilize because they cannot tear apart families and strip their children away. I am a mother, and I am angry. And when you anger a mother, you anger the most powerful woman in the world.”
Sunday’s stroller march just marked the beginning of the protests. Hundreds of “Families Belong Together – Not in Cages” rallies are planned all across the country in opposition to President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy for Saturday, June 30.
Take a look at the photos from Sunday’s protest. (All photos: A. Leonhardt for BK Reader)
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