New York City: Tens of Thousands Protest President Trump’s Immigration Policies

Activists shout during the rally to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies Saturday, June 30, 2018, in New York, New York.
AP Photo/Kevin Hagen
JOSHUA CAPLAN

Tens of thousands of demonstrators in New York City Saturday protested against the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

An estimated 30,000 protesters marched from Manhattan to Brooklyn with pins and signs that read, “Abolish ICE,” joining more than 700 other rallies across the United States organized by the Families Belong Together-Freedom for Immigrants March.

“I’m here because I’m disgusted, outraged, and frightened by our government,” Lisa Zieger, a 66-year-old Newark resident, said. “I’ve never felt so personally threatened before. It’s important to come out, to put your body on the line.”

Democratic-socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the political upshot who defeated House leader Rep. Joseph Crowley (R-NY) this week, marched through Queens with approximately 2000 protesters.

“I am confident and hopeful that it will not last long and that it will not last forever, because of every single individual who’s on this block today,” the 28-year-old told attendees.

“I was proud to join @QueensBarrios today for our march in Jackson Heights and Corona, some of the most diverse neighborhoods in the US (and the world!),” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after attending the event.

Ocasio-Cortez has made abolishing ICE a core campaign promise.

The Democrat-socialist’s website on the issue of immigrationr reads :

As overseen by the Trump administration, ICE operates with virtually no accountability, ripping apart families and holding our friends and neighbors indefinitely in inhumane detention centers scattered across the United States. [I] believes that if we are to uphold civic justice, we must abolish ICE and see to it that our undocumented neighbors are treated with the dignity and respect owed to all people, regardless of citizenship status.

Addressing a citizenship event at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio praised demonstrators for protesting against the Trump administration’s immigration policies and re-upped his support for abolishing ICE. “We need comprehensive immigration reform and we need new agencies to replace ICE,” the mayor told attendees. “There’s a way to handle immigration properly, and we have to start working for that day.”

The 2020 hopeful told WNYC radio’s Brian Lehrer on Friday that the agency should be dismantled.

Later, de Blasio tweeted his support for abolishing ICE. “Every country needs reasonable law enforcement on their borders. ICE is not reasonable law enforcement. ICE is broken, it’s divisive and it should be abolished,” the mayor said.

Celebrities Kerry Washington, Amy Schumer, and Padma Lakshmi marched in the New York City protest.

“Do we want to be a nation of humanity and compassion, or do we want to be a nation that is unfeeling or unjust?” Lakshmi is quoted asking attendees of the march. “This is not the future I want for my children, those children, or anybody’s children. That’s why we’re here.”

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