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America protests against Trump's immigration policies

By Lalit K Jha
July 01, 2018 11:46 IST

Tens of thousands of people, including Indian-Americans, took to streets in several United States cities to protest against controversial immigration policies of US President Donald Trump which has resulted in separation of children of illegal immigrants.

IMAGE: Demonstrators march on Brooklyn Bridge during "Keep Families Together" march to protest Trump administration's immigration policy in New York. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

The Trump administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy of separating immigrant parents and their children on the US border has resulted in the separation of nearly 2,000 children from their parents and guardians, sparking a public outcry.


Hundreds of people braved scorching sun at a park near the White House in Washington, DC to protest immigration policies of US President Trump.

Similar protests were held in cities and towns across the country mostly led by Democratic party leaders and rights activists demanded that Trump’s immigration policies be humane and under no circumstances separate kids from their parents who cross the border illegally.

IMAGE: A demonstrator carries a sign reading "Save America" during the "Families Belong Together" rally in Boston, Massachusetts. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Trump, however, insisted that there should be zero tolerance for those crossing the border illegally and they need to be deported.

“When people come into our country illegally, we must IMMEDIATELY escort them back out without going through years of legal manoeuvring. Our laws are the dumbest anywhere in the world,” Trump tweeted as large number of people came out on streets and in public places including outside the White House against his immigration policies.

“Republicans want Strong Borders and no Crime. Dems want Open Borders and are weak on Crime!” alleged the US president.

IMAGE: Demonstrators protest the Trump administration's immigration policies as part of a "Families Belong Together" rally in Houston, Texas. Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters

“We’re here to say to Trump: End this zero-tolerance policy,” Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila said at the Washington rally organised by a coalition of organisations formed American Civil Liberties Union, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Domestic Workers Alliance and Move On.

So far, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents after being arrested by the US law enforcement agencies after they illegally crossed the border.

IMAGE: An immigration activist holds up a sign as she stands in a spray of water from a fire truck during a rally by immigration activists to protest against the Trump Administration's immigration policy, outside the White House. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

“Get these kids out of cages and reunite them with their parents,” Jayapal said at the rally christened ‘Families Belong Together,’ which among others was joined by a number of celebrities, including Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Alicia Keys, Diane Guerrero, a star on Netflix’s ‘Orange is the New Black,’ and ‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

In Atlanta, the legendary civil rights leaders and Congressman John Lewis, 78, slammed Trump for his immigration policies.

“There is no such thing as an illegal human being. We are all humans,” he said.

IMAGE: A demonstrator holds up a protest sign during a rally against the Trump administration's immigration policies outside of the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas. Photograph: Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez told the CNN that this is a moral crisis for the nation. “We’re fighting for our democracy. This is one of those where were ya’ moments,” he said.

“Today, people are coming together all across the country to say that we can’t be locking up children and separating families,” Senator Mazie Hirono said.

“Donald Trump created this crisis through his own actions, blamed others for what’s happening, and used the ensuing chaos to demand a legislative solution that harms even more people. It’s up to each of us, and to the millions of Americans outraged by his actions to stand up, fight back, and demand action,” she said.

In New York, thousands of people rallied and marched in support of immigrant families and to condemn the Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy.

“By forcibly ripping families apart at the border, the Trump administration showed the world how morally bankrupt it truly is,” said Steven Choi from the New York Immigration Coalition.

IMAGE: Demonstrators march in the Little Village neighbourhood calling for the elimination of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and an end to family detentions in Chicago, Illinois. Photograph: by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union alleged that the Trump regime is doing everything it can to divide immigrant families and drive them away.

“The current crisis will not end until every child that has been separated is reunited with their parents, every family is treated with dignity and due process, and our immigration policies reflect our values,” Lieberman said.

The public outcry in the wake of images and stories of the children caught in the middle of Trump’s immigration policy has sparked a fierce debate in the US.

Lalit K Jha
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