President Trump must reunite the migrant children separated from their families when the immigrants attempted to cross the border without permission, demanded thousands of marchers who strode across the Brooklyn Bridge.
The president’s controversial immigration policy that put more than 2,000 youngsters in detention facilities separate from those holding their parents is the latest stain on our country under its 45th commander-in-chief, according to one demonstrator.
“We’re living in a time when the values that America stood for are being eroded daily,” said Susan Alevas, who traveled from faraway Long Island for the June 30 march. “It’s incumbent upon us citizens to respectfully and non-violently express our great distress and concern for what I believe to be human-rights violations.”
Protesters made their way from the outer borough of Manhattan across the borough’s namesake span in scorching heat that burned as hot as 93 degrees.
But Alevas said any discomfort she and other demonstrators experienced paled in comparison to pains felt by the immigrant families, many of whom left their home countries seeking refuge from hostility, on their treks to the United States — and in those detention centers officials shoved the undocumented migrants in when they arrived, where some youngsters pulled from their parents before Trump ended the separation policy were reportedly forced to stay in chain-link cages.
“It was warm, but people were in good spirits, and everybody looked out for each other, offering water and sunscreen,” said Alevas, the granddaughter of immigrants.
Participants of all ages walked in the massive march, some stepping hand-in-hand while others waved signs declaring “This is my resisting b---- face” and “Reunite every family.”
And watching the youngest among them express their right to assemble against such a brutal policy — and the man behind it — gave some participants hope for a better tomorrow, according to a dad who crossed the bridge with his 5- and 9-year-old kids. “The policy relating to the migrant asylum seekers really upset our family,” said Daniel Modell, who lives in Manhattan. “But we have always been opposed to the Trump administration.”
The marchers aren’t the only ones who blasted the family separations in Kings County — last month, a Fort Greene bodega owner who immigrated to Brooklyn as a kid, and later became a citizen, delivered his own critique of the policy by hanging signs criticizing it outside his store.
And on Tuesday, Mayor DeBlasio announced he will help youngsters affected by the forced separations — roughly 300 of which arrived in the city after being taken from their parents — by offering new health and social services in all five boroughs, including mental-health care, legal aid, and trauma training for foster families and other do-gooders charged with caring for the children.
Hizzoner and officials atop several municipal agencies are also working together to provide the kids with toys, and to take them on field trips across the city that will help them feel at home in a foreign land, according to one bigwig involved in the effort.
“We have extensive experience working with children in the city’s child-welfare system who have experienced trauma, and we’re announcing an array of much-needed services for those children who were separated as a result of this heartless federal immigration policy,” said David Hansell, who runs the Administration for Children’s Services.