Hundreds of demonstrators rallied outside of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Park Slope home on July 2 to call for an end to “inhumane” conditions along the country’s southern border.
Protesters blasted the Senate Minority Leader for what they described as his failure to resist President Donald Trump’s policies of detaining migrants in overcrowded detention centers.
“This is a humanitarian crisis. This is a disgrace,” said Romy Ruman. “These are concentration camps. We can’t allow Trump to win. We have to get our elected leaders to shut this down.”
Demonstrators took specific issue with the senator’s support for a recently passed $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package — which the Senate approved by a 84-to-eight margin on June 26 — claiming Democratic lawmakers failed to guarantee the funds will be used to improve conditions within the border camps.
“It’s a joke. How spineless can you be?” said Marisa Joel-Klein. “These old-school Democrats need to learn a lesson. There’s no more normal. It is not a time for compromise and singing Kumbaya. They’re throwing children in cages, and if these old-school Democrats won’t act, we’re going to vote them out.”
The activists carried signs and chanted across the street from Schumer’s Prospect Park West residence until 7 p.m., when assembled police officers broke up the demonstration because they lacked proper noise permits.
Still, the protesters hoped they got their message across to the Senator.
“I don’t know if he’s listening, but he should, because we’re not going anywhere,” said Megan Casey.
Schumer praised his own detractors for drawing attention to the situation at the border, according to a spokesman, who defended the lawmaker’s record on immigrant rights, which includes a bill he introduced in 2013 that would have provided a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. That effort passed the Senate by a strong 68-to-32 margin, but was killed by Republican leadership in the House of Representatives.
“Sen. Schumer is deeply concerned with the unacceptable conditions at the border caused by Trump’s callous policies and commends New Yorkers who are raising awareness about it,” said Angelo Roefaro.