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Image: Members Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams, and Brad Lander rally at various protests at Laguardia and 26 Federal Plaza. 

Yesterday, Members of the Progressive Caucus joined activists and protests at LaGuardia Airport and ICE headquarters (26 Federal Plaza) to rally against the injustices that the Trump Administration has perpetuated through its atrociously harmful immigration policy to tear families apart at our borders. President Trump’s executive order to end family separation at the U.S. border has unclear and devastating consequences for those already been separated under his “zero tolerance” policy.

Furthermore, the Progressive Caucus stands against family detention, which is no solution to family separation. Instead of working with families, the Trump Administration ended an effective case management program that provides alternatives to detention and ensures that asylum seekers show up in court. The Progressive Caucus, along with other advocates, demands that in the short term, the President Trump reinstate this program and treat asylum seekers and immigrants with dignity and respect. We also demand that the federal government treat the currently families separated from one another as a national emergency and do everything in its power to reunite families currently ripped away from one another. Today and all days, the Progressive Caucus stands with all children and families from all countries who are affected by this violence and continue to work for the rights of all people who find their ways to New York City and beyond.

“Central American families arriving at the border are fleeing from violence perpetuated by gangs and drug cartels. Many of the migrant women and their children are fleeing domestic violence, too. Separating these families amid their journey to obtain safety is inhumane and egregious,” said Council Member Diana Ayala, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “It is disturbing that this policy has seeped into New York City, a City that is committed to protecting immigrants, without the federal government consulting local officials. We must ensure a protocal is in place to reunite the children in New York City’s foster agencies with their parents and continue to resist President Trump’s racist and merciless immigration agenda.”

“Families and individuals in need of asylum at our southern border should be treated with compassion,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.  said Council Member Ben Kallos. “The Trump administration’s policies toward immigrants continue to be abhorrently racist and not in line with what America stands for. As Co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, I am proud that New York City continues to live up to the values this country was founded on welcoming immigrants, refugees with open arms as a Sanctuary City.”

“In a time when immigrant families are threatened and being torn apart, I stand with the Progressive Caucus against their immoral treatment,” said Council Member Keith Powers, Vice-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “New York is not a City of complacency to the policies of the Trump Administration, and we must work to reunite these children with their mothers and fathers.”

“In our name, our government is violating the human rights of fathers, mothers, and children, many of them fleeing violence and seeking asylum, locking them in concentration camps, and causing long-term trauma,” said Council Member Brad Lander, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “Now these children have been brought to New York City in the cover of darkness. I am so thankful to all who went to LaGuardia last night to bear witness to these children, to show that our City sees them and will fight for them. We must continue to organize to demand the end of family separation and the imprisonment of children. We are fighting for the very soul of our country.”

“The Trump administration’s executive order does nothing to fix the humanitarian crisis at our border,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “It does nothing to reunite the thousands of children ripped from their families (Trump referred to them as Animals) as they flee danger and hardship in pursuit of a better life (Trump instead said they are coming ‘to infest our country’). It was extremely important to be at the airport last night, to show these children that while the bigots in the White House may not see them, we do, and we are with them.”

“The moral compass of this administration is broken,” said Council Member Debi Rose, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “There is no justification for this inhumanity, and future generations will view the caging of these small children as a dark stain on our history.  I condemn this horrific practice and stand with my New York City colleagues with a clear message: We support family unity and we offer full, life-saving support to families fleeing danger and violence.

“This White House’s malice towards immigrants of color has been well documented for over a year now, but its use of family separation as a means of achieving its naked political interests exposes the depth of its depravity,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “The fringe leader at the helm of this Administration is willfully traumatizing innocent children and their families for neither border security nor sound immigration policy, but a simple loathing of non-white, non-European natives who seek the promise of life in America. As a member of the New York City Council and its Progressive Caucus, I will lend my support to resisting every effort by the federal government to use our City to facilitate this gross and inhumane practice.”

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