June 26, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Hundreds of people turned up to rally in Woodside yesterday to rail against the Trump administration’s policy of separating families of undocumented immigrants on the Mexican border.
Attendees carrying colorful signs with expressions of unity and criticism of the Trump administration gathered at St. Sebastian’s Roman Catholic Church just after 7 p.m. yesterday, where Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer led the “March Against Family Separation”.
Van Bramer, joined by several local groups, including Woodside on the Move, Make the Road New York, and the local Girl Scouts troop, spoke to the administration’s recent “zero-tolerance” policy that separated families crossing the border illegally.
While Trump has since signed an executive order to now keep arriving families together in detention, yesterday’s march was a continued act of resistance against the administration, and an affirmation of Queens’ values, Van Bramer said.
“Donald Trump may have been raised in this borough, but what he says, what he believes, is not what we believe in Queens,” Van Bramer said. “That is not who we are in Queens.”
He added: “We have a president who talks about immigrants infesting our country, invading our country. He must not get away with this.”
The Council Member said immigrants are being criminalized for fleeing violence in their home country, when past generations of migrants fled to America for the same reasons.
The protesters, stretching the length of about three blocks, then walked to Thomas P. Noonan Playground on 43rd Street and Greenpoint Avenue chanting expressions including “no hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”
Susan Hudes, a Sunnyside resident at the march with her young son, said the gravity of the situation at the southern border is serious.
“Our hearts are breaking over the current situation,” Hudes said. “It’s an emergency.”
Saber Kan and Lisia Leon, a couple from Jackson Heights who just welcomed their twin daughters to the world, said their newborns are part of the reason why they’re at the march.
“We are kids of immigrants,” Saber said. “We’re upset by the children being separated and their families treated like non-humans.”
The march ended with a note from Van Bramer pointing to more shows of opposition against the Trump administration.
“This is not the end,” Van Bramer said. “This is part of a sustained resistance.”